Info has leaked on the Internet about a project from Microsoft codenamed Gatineau, this is a new analytics tool which will compete against Google Analytics. The first beta version of Gatineau is expected later this summer.
One of the interesting things is that Microsoft will be able to provide age and gender data thanks to its Live ID profile service:
"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," he wrote.
Thomas was responding to screen shots of the new technology posted at another blog Friday. Microsoft's public relations firm did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.
Thomas noted in January that the Gatineau project is based on technology Microsoft acquired from DeepMetrix Corp. in 2006.
He said then that the target audience for the project is similar to the target audience for Google Analytics, "though it's emphatically not our intention simply to replicate the functionality within that product." Microsoft aims to release Gatineau this year, Thomas said at the time.
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.