Microsoft to launch web analytics tool

Seriously, is there any cool Google service that Microsoft isn't trying to duplicate? There's book search, health sites, map services, and now web analytics. (Of course, we can't blame them, seeing as Google's taking on Microsoft Office with a web-based clone).

Right now, Google Analytics is probably the most powerful free web-based analytic tool on the market. Sure, it has a few quirks that you probably wouldn't find in a commercial application. But it gives you a lot of control over how you analyze traffic on your web site.

It looks like Microsoft is preparing to launch a new web-based tool that will be at least as powerful. Microsoft's Ian Thomas introduced the new project, code-named Gatineau, at Web Analytics Day. A private beta is expected to launch next week. At first, Gatineau will be available only in English and only in countries supported by Microsoft's adCenter.

Microsoft is currently accepting applications for the beta.

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