MSN Jumps on Analytics Train

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From the adCenter Blog:

We are happy to announce that Project Gatineau, Microsoft’s new, free web analytics service, is ready for beta testing and the first invitations are now being sent to customers.

To manage Project Gatineau’s growth and give customers the best web analytics service possible, the beta is by invitation for US advertisers only for the moment.

All advertisers can request an invitation here: http://advertising.microsoft.com/microsoft-adcenter-gatineau

Project Gatineau’s web analytics are useful to sites of all sizes – from smaller sites that can’t afford an expensive web analytics solution to larger sites looking for a boost in their web analytics capabilities.

Microsoft Launches Project Gatineau Analytics in Beta

So, what’s the big deal?

Microsoft has been promoting the project for some time now, as noted by Tamar at 10e20 back in January, and again in March during a review of low cost analytics:

With Gatineau around the corner (and we can still anticipate its launch), there are other free analytics applications that you should consider using on your site.

David Naylor showed off some screen shots while it was still in Alpha in July that were impressive. But Search Marketing Gurus stole the show with more specifics that will be employed in the new Gatineau.

There are still some very important questions that remain:

  1. How will Gatineau be able to pull website owners away from their current analytics packages?
  2. What can MSN bring to the table that hasn’t been offered by other analytics services?
  3. Will this be added to the Webmaster Portal that was supposed to launch into private beta last month?
    (still unconfirmed that it did launch in limited release)

MSN adCenter Labs
has provided some unique tools for marketing and optimization, can this be what we should expect from Gatineau?

Have any of you signed up for the beta? If so, what are your early thoughts?

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