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Microsoft ditches Web analytics effort

Software maker is discontinuing the beta of a tool that would have competed with Google Analytics, Omniture, and others.

This one flew under my radar, but Microsoft announced earlier this month that it is scrapping an effort to develop a general purpose Web analytics program.

In a blog posting, Microsoft said it is closing the beta of Microsoft AdCenter Analytics.

"The insights you've contributed through your feedback and your use of the tool have served an invaluable purpose in shaping Microsoft's future in this space," Microsoft said in the March 12 blog posting. "You've helped us work towards making an informed decision about building a general Web analytics solution, and despite the end of life plan, the beta was very much a success. It enabled us to confidently determine that we can be of most value to advertisers and publishers by offering a tailored solution that meets more specialized needs."

Those already in the beta will be able to continue using the tool until December 31.

"We recommend that you use the coming months to evaluate your Web analytics needs and leverage that information to conduct a search for an alternative Web analytics solution," Microsoft said. The software maker has posted a list of alternatives that includes Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, and Omniture.

Although Microsoft announced layoffs and other cost cuts in January, the company has axed relatively few products. Among the products it has scrapped in recent months are Windows Live OneCare and PerformancePoint Server, a business intelligence product.

Are there any other products that have been cut that I should know about? If so, drop me a line.