Microsoft is working on a Web analytics product that's been spotted in the wild recently, under the code-name Gatineau. It's named for the city in Canada where Web analytics provider DeepMetrix was based for some years, before it was acquired by Microsoft last May.
The project is housed in Redmond under Microsoft's Digital Advertising Solutions group, with some development in Ireland. Ian Thomas, a planner on the project and a veteran of WebAbacus, provides some details on Gatineau on his blog, Lies, Damned Lies....
According to Thomas, the project is in closed alpha stage, with plans for an invite-only beta in coming months and a potential launch later this year. The product appears to be positioned in the same niche as Google Analytics.
"I can't be very specific at all about the functionality we hope to deliver, but I can say that the target audience for this project is broadly similar to the target audience for Google Analytics - though it's emphatically not our intention simply to replicate the functionality within that product," he writes.
Update: Microsoft is not talking specifics about Gatineau, but did provide us with a statement from Alexandra Tibbetts, Microsoft adCenter director of product management:
“Microsoft is making significant investments to make Web analytics broadly available to help customers improve the customer experience on their Web sites and optimize the performance of marketing campaigns. Microsoft acquired DeepMetrix in May 2006 and began ‘Project Gatineau' to continue investments in this area because it is important to our customers.”