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Details of Microsoft's New Analytics Tool Leaked 68

hhavensteincw writes "Details of Microsoft's answer to Google's Analytics have leaked online. Screenshots have been posted on the Net of the new "Gatineau" Web analytics tool that Microsoft now says will be available in beta this summer. In a blog post, Microsoft's Ian Thomas also reveals that Microsoft will use Live ID (formerly Microsoft Passport) profiles to get its demographic data."
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Details of Microsoft's New Analytics Tool Leaked

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  • Not any more :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:50PM (#19962849)
    Reasons why this will fail, straight from the summary:
    1. The name sucks.
    2. It uses Microsoft Passport
    3. It's from Microsoft.
    • Thomas added that Microsoft has been ramping up the project slowly to avoid the massive performance problems Google had when it launched its free Web Analytics service in November 2005. The company had to suspend new subscriptions for the service a week after it launched because unforeseen demand impeded its performance. It reopened to new users in January 2006.

      Sounds a lot like the lines at a Disney World opening to a traveling parking lot Carnival.

      However, I would pay good money to see the Carnival freak

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by edlinfan ( 1131341 )

      The name sucks.

      Considering that this is a leak, I doubt that's the final name.

      It uses Microsoft Passport

      MS Passport, like it or not, is steadily becoming more common. A /. regular might loathe Passport and avoid it, but Joe Sixpack will sign up so he can get a Hotmail account or join Xbox Live. Not everyone thinks the way you do.

      It's from Microsoft.

      If I remember correctly, Microsoft makes a certain operating system with 90%+ market share. It's so successful, it's a monopoly.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Gatineau is the name of a river around here []. It's interesting that they're using our local river names for beta. Just one more pristine undiscovered Canadian wilderness area colonized for Microsoft.

      Anyways, if you come, bring your canoe.
    • by CETS ( 573881 )
      The name sucks

      No kidding.... who would name their product after a former Jets defensive?

  • The article claims that they will use Live ID's to get demographic data including age and gender. The usefulness of this will be very limited. Who except hotmail users will have an active Live ID and be logged in? Out of those Hotmail users, how many of them will have the correct demographic data?
    • by Darundal ( 891860 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:15PM (#19963145) Journal
      Anyone using a Livespace, anyone with an Xbox Live account (pretty sure about that one, not entirely however), almost anyone on any forum for a company owned by Microsoft (Bungie, for example), and the list goes on.
    • Who except hotmail users will have an active Live ID and be logged in?

      Suckers. The same people who click the monkey and refi their home loans to go on vacation. The very knowledge of whether someone is a sucker, or isn't, is extremely valuable. It's almost as good as knowing whether someone's a MySpace user.
  • by PavementPizza ( 907876 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:52PM (#19962873)
    It wasn't "leaked", a word which gives it an aura of mystery it doesn't deserve. This is basically a press release, people! It's not like it's some big secret. The first time a corporation opens the kimono and shows off the latest new Microsoft ePenis it grew isn't a "leak". Stop it! Just stop abusing this. You're doing their marketing work for them!
    • by Fred_A ( 10934 )
      Maybe someone accidentally leaned on the fax machine while the secret press release accidentally slid in it from the folder it was into and accidentally dialed the number of all the IT magazines with his/her elbow. Like, you know, while making chit chat with the new intern.
      Those things happen.
      That's how information accidentally gets leaked all the time.
    • Calm down ... its not like there isn't a Microsoft product that doesn't leak ...

    • ...and shows off the latest new Microsoft ePenis it grew isn't a "leak"...

      Oh thanks for that visual. I think im binded for life.
  • by tgatliff ( 311583 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:55PM (#19962909)
    I admit that those are some cool looking graphs, but considering Microsoft's past experience with collecting XP, Zune, and Vista sales numbers, I dont know if I want to rely on them collecting any numbers that my business might just have to rely on.. That is just me, though... :-)
  • Is it just me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Steve Cowan ( 525271 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @06:56PM (#19962913) Journal
    Or does microsoft rename all of their technologies when they realize how stale and unmarketable they are? Like OLE / ActiveX / DirectX, winfx / .net, microsoft messenger / windows messenger / msn messenger / windows live! messenger, others that I can't think of .... ... and now Passport > Live ID? Will Balmer change his name next?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by networkBoy ( 774728 )
      "Chair Crusher"
    • Will Balmer change his name next?

      Coming in 2008:

      Microsoft Office Live! Ballmer Vista
    • by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      and now Passport > Live ID?
      Actually for that one the MS techs had come up with "Dead ID" since they figured it was fairly accurate but then marketing had to screw that up as well...
    • The multiple versions of Messenger were what got me laughing. "MSN Messenger" and "Windows Messenger". You had to have both for some dumb reason.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It's just you. ActiveX was reasonably successful, and of course neither it nor OLE have anything to do with DirectX. DirectX is wildly successful. .NET is very successful in the real world (as opposed to the fairy tale land most of you live in).

      But yeah, they have renamed Messenger a few times.

      • From this [] page:

        Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is about using documents generated by one application inside another application. ActiveX is a Microsoft rebranding of OLE with more focus on smart Windows controls. Automation is a simple but powerful way to link software together without having to share source code. It lets a client program "drive" a server program. Automation is also used for dynamically loadable "in-process" libraries.

        FromThe Wikipedia ActiveX article: []

        ActiveX is Microsoft technology use

    • Will Balmer change his name next?

      Throwy McChairface.

  • In a blog post, Microsoft's Ian Thomas also reveals that Microsoft will use Live ID (formerly Microsoft Passport) profiles to get its demographic data.

    Please tell me they won't monitor your browing habits while you're logged in on Passport. We had enough with Alexa [].
  • by G00F ( 241765 )
    Something else i get to block on my firewall.

    damn that list is getting huge.
    • Noscript is your friend. I have Google Analytics blocked. I wonder just who analizes this stuff. (Misspelling intended).
  • Why would they name it after a Quebec city []? Perhaps the relationship is phonetic, as in "We've got-a-no answers for you!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by grcumb ( 781340 )

      Why would they name it after a Quebec city []? Perhaps the relationship is phonetic, as in "We've got-a-no answers for you!"

      Interestingly - or perhaps ironically - what is now the city of Gatineau used to be known as Hull. It sits directly across the Ottawa River from, well, Ottawa. The name was changed to something more palatable to the separatist Parti Québecois government. Hull's bars used to close two hours later than their Ottawa counterparts, so it was quite common to hear drunken revellers shouting, "I'll see you in Hull!" Workmates showing up hung-over were often told, "You look like you've been to Hull and back

      • Umm, could you please go away?

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, Hull became known as Gatineau in 2002 when the cities of Gatineau, Hull, Aylmer, Buckingham, and Mason-Angers were all amalgamated. Pretty much everyone who lives in the area still refers to Hull as Hull not Gatineau and most road signs in Ottawa directing you to the city still read Hull.
  • by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @07:07PM (#19963077)
    Is it just me, or do Microsoft seem to not really innovate anymore?
    (if they ever did, yes I can see that one coming)

    Everything I have seen in the last few years (Aero, Zune, Search) seems more of a copy of other peoples innovation and hard work. Call me naive but thats not what I would call innovation, more like skimming the results of other peoples marketing and work.

    I only ask as this article was posted as "MS answer to Google's" and I'm seeing this an awful lot in the last few years....
    ...and now they feel the need to branch into all possible markets under the sun I'm getting kind nervous about their next move whatever it might be.
    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Well, they've conquered the consumer desktop market. They've conquered the generic office software market. Their owners (stockholders) expect them to do something new. They've got to branch out somewhere.
    • by trawg ( 308495 )
      I don't know if its hugely innovative (ie, I don't know if its just copied from someone else, I'm pretty sure they bought it at the very least :) but when I saw this video [] of the Microsoft photosynth stuff, I was happy to see that they're trying to at least lead the way in some areas, rather than just blindly copying Google.
    • Microsoft thrives on copying other ideas, then trying to use their presence to make their product succeed.

      Even Windows, their most successful product, did not appear until after Apple presented their new graphical interface.

      • By "new graphical interface," do you mean "GUI stolen from Xerox?" Apple wasn't the first, they just popularized it. Kinda like what Microsoft did with personal computing, or what Nintendo did with gaming.
    • Well, as Google Analytics *sucks* in many ways, if Microsoft wants to skim what little is good and than add to it, I can't complain. The graphs sure look a lot nicer...
    • You are absolutely right, and I was about to make a comment along your lines. Microsoft is not an innovative organisation, and in truth they have never really been. Very, very few of their products have been developed in-house, and the ones that have been have a horrible development history. (7 years to develop word for windows 1.0)!

      Let's just take Vista... 6 billion in research and development money... and it shows. All exciting features dropped and what they release is essentially a warmed-over Windows XP
  • As they say at []

    We're excited to update you about Microsoft's activities since we acquired DeepMetrix. Over the past year we've been focused on building the next generation of Web analytics. We've reached a transitioning phase, and are now rolling out our new service. Because of this rollout, we're no longer updating DeepMetrix products. Support services for hosted and installed DeepMetrix products will discontinue on January 31, 2008, and data collection for your hosted software

  • at: ?

    I wonder if GOOGLE has looked at s/a.

    THEIR stuff is KEWL. It has data-mining up the wazoo, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are the ones whose tool were used for federal stings. It can create deep associations based on banking records and other things, such as flight, phone, purchasing and other information. It was more impressive than scary, but still scary. They might still have available some kick-ass screen shots since I last saw them over 2 years ago..
  • by RobertM1968 ( 951074 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @09:43PM (#19964445) Homepage Journal

    (1) IE already "reports" back your search results for any URL you type in without "http://" (and according to some rumors/posts, IE7 does this with ALL URLs to verify the site isnt a phishing site).

    (2) With their LiveID information (which can easily be tied to the above mentioned browsing habits via IE - as well as Vista's reporting to home tools), they have a decent amount of information on you to tie to your "browsing habits"

    (3) EVERY MS Internet property states in the EULA that they have the right to use ANY content you send/upload/store on their service - and share with their "partners" as well - and sell for that matter.

    (4) Combine all of these, and MS isn't doing web analytics in the fashion the term already means. They are simply logging ALL of your (IE) surfing habits, tying that to the identifiable information they already have on file for you (assuming you have a Dead-ID account - and possibly even if you dont - if you've activated/registered their software), and scanning your uploaded/stored/sent documents (emails, stuff on any other MS property) to collect information and then sell it to their advertising "partners".

    (5) If it weren't for their EULA, this would not be legal. Of course, who is to say that their EULA is legal anyway? I still want to see that be dragged through court.

    Normally web analytics does not include parsing your private information (in emails, posts, ALL surfing habits, etc), and using your (given thinking it would be safe) personally identifiable information (via Live-ID, Vista registration, etc) to provide services to others for the purposes of marketing and/or spamming. Unfortunately, the term still applies as it is a form of web-analytics... just in the worst, privacy violating way.

    The real thing that should be debated here is how to prevent this - not whether or not their software/service will be good or not. Frankly, with all the information they are privy to, it is hard to see how even MS could mess this up - so that all is a moot point.

    The potential for "private" information being used to (a) profile you, (b) make money off of you (by selling that info to someone else you dont want to have it), and/or (c) spam to you in the most personal way (considering they know far more about "you" via your surfing habits) - that's the scary part that should be discussed here.

    At least I think so...

    • Yes I know, they say

      "I would stress that we get this information anonymously, and there is no use of personally identifiable information, such as name or e-mail address, in the product," Ian Thomas from MS's Digital Advertising Solutions Group wrote.

      which means what? That the current plans involved NOT getting the information anonymously? That he is recommending they change that plan? Neat huh? He's not saying that he will be getting the information anonymously - but stressing that he thinks they should.

      Of course, then there's a matter of semantics involved in that statement... is he saying that the information aggregated should be unable to specify a particular person - or is he saying that the collecting of such data should

    • I forgot to add this to the post...

      On /. on July 14th:

      "In a just-published Microsoft patent application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted advertising as 'part of the OS.' Microsoft, who once teamed with law enforcement to protect consumers from unwanted advertising, goes on to boast that the invention can 'take steps to verify ad consumption,' be used to block ads from competitors,

      -> AND EVEN sneak a peek at 'user document files, user e-mail files, user music files, d

  • I'm a 102 year old woman from Chicago with a Boston zipcode used on Zoom ( Oh-two-1-3-foooouuur ). Those demographics will be REALLY accurate.
  • Well, Google analytics have everything you might need and more, come from Google and are used by pretty much everyone. That'll make it really hard for Microosft to overcome them.
    I wouldn't mind testing it though... Who thought we needed another search engine before Google was developed? :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Morgon ( 27979 )
      "Everything you need...."

      Then maybe you can tell me how to have an Analytics profile that conglomerates all of the data from my subdomains into an 'overall' format (i.e. Not just adding hits/users, but doing the math on unique users to the entire domain)

      So far, I've not been able to accomplish this..
  • I've started to integrate Google Analytics into some of my sites but I started to get nervous about tying my sites so closely to google. Plus many people block the analytics cookies. So I doubt I'll give Microsoft a second glance. However I have tried the Sourceforge project phpMyVisites which is really good, but has a bug that makes it less usable to me, and I can't seem to fix it.

    Does anyone know a good free/open solution other than phpMyVisites that will give this kind of analytics/search referrer data?


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