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Microsoft Gatineau you dirty whore

December 6, 2007

Since Google “Upgraded” Google Analytics, or as I like to call it “google anal”, I’ve been dissatisfied with the service. To be sure, I was not overly thrilled about the the previous implementation, but as soon as the service went 100% Flash I really was disappointed. Common tasks take me more clicks. The map overlay sucks because you can’t get an overview as easily, and I can’t use the service from my iPhone. In general, the site usability of the site has suffered severely from the upgrade. Also, since the upgrade I’ve been unable to get the site overlay to work so I have no way of analyzing, visually, visitors traffic patterns.

I want a better web analytics package! Don’t tell me that Google’s “free”. It’s not free. I’m giving Google incredibly detailed and valuable information about visitors to my web properties. That’s worth a lot of money when you consider the traffic. This is why when I heard of Microsoft’s upcoming web analytics service code named: “Gatineau” I signed up for the beta and waited for an invite. This invite arrived today. It reads:

Thanks for expressing interest in our new web analytics service, code named: Microsoft “Gatineau.”

Get started today
Follow these instructions to get started with the Gatineau beta today.

1. Go to: http://adcenter.microsoft.com/?key=cb6ad37b-fcf3-4c69-8c89-5b0e19adef7c
Invite code: cb6ad37b-fcf3-4c69-8c89-5b0e19adef7c
2. Click Sign Up Today and create an adCenter account using this e-mail address.* You’ll be charged a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to set up an adCenter account.
3. After your account is created, you’ll be directed to the Gatineau beta invite sign up page. Follow the instructions to begin using the beta.

Microsoft AdCenter 0

Wait. What? Let me read this again:

* You’ll be charged a one-time, non-refundable $5 fee to set up an adCenter account.

You want me to pay YOU to test your undoubtedly buggy software? I’ll be running your script on my web properties, slowing down my visitors experience because I’ll surely not drop my Urchin script from Google, and you want me to pay you? Even though I’m going to be giving you incredibly detailed information about my visitors. Moreover, you ask me for a lot information about me and my company including a credit card, which gives you access to all kinds of interesting information. Isn’t this payment enough for me to gain the privilege of testing your buggy software? WTF? You should be paying me $5.

Gatineau, you dirty whore, I shall pass.

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2 Comments
  1. Aaron,

    Sorry to hear you’re not happy about the $5 charge (neither am I). The only reason it exists at present is because we wanted to hook the Gatineau registration process into the adCenter registration system (so that we don’t duplicate registration systems); and, at present, taking the $5 charge is a mandatory part of signing up for adCenter.

    There’s an update cominf for adCenter which will make it possible for a user to sign up for Gatineau without needing to part with credit card details and pay $5. We considered delaying the beta until this update was available, or alternatively creating a separate account/sign-up process for Gatineau. But we wanted to start getting real customer feedback about the tool, and we really didn’t want to create another user ID that our customers would have to remember, so that’s why we’re where we are. Not satisfactory to anyone here, but sometimes these things can’t be helped.

    We will be getting rid of the $5 requirement at our next beta refresh, early in the new year; so you might want to wait until then if you’re uncomfortable with the $5 thing. Sorry for raising your expectations and then dashing them.

    Ian Thomas
    Microsoft

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