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Microsoft to shut down its adCenter Analytics service

Microsoft Corp. said yesterday that it will shut down its adCenter Analytics service at the end of the year, and the software vendor doesn't appear to be planning to replace the service with a similar offering for online advertisers and publishers.

AdCenter Analytics, which remains in beta mode, is based on Web analytics tools that originally were developed by DeepMetrix Corp., a small company that Microsoft bought in 2006. The analysis service has been part of a broader line of online advertising tools that Microsoft is trying to use to compete with market leader Google Inc.

No new users will be given access to the service, according to Microsoft. Current beta participants can continue using it through the end of the year, at which time technical support will end and the service will be shut down, adCenter Community Manager Mel Carson said in a blog post. Users will need to export their data from the service before the Dec. 31 cutoff date to avoid losing the information, he added.

Carson didn't explicitly say whether Microsoft is working on a similar offering to replace adCenter Analytics, and the company declined to clarify that point.

Addressing the beta users of the service, Carson wrote: “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.”

An employee in Microsoft's advertising platforms group who previously worked on the adCenter Analytics program implied in a separate blog post that a similar stand-alone product won't be forthcoming.

“This announcement reflects a conclusion that we've come to that, for us, providing analytics in the form of a stand-alone tool like ACA doesn't present the best value or utility for our customers,” Ian Thomas, Microsoft's director of yield business intelligence product management, wrote in his personal blog. “Of course, it's not my place to be making ad hoc pronouncements about our analytics product strategy, especially not at a moment like this; so I've probably said enough already.”

On an unofficial forum devoted to adCenter Analytics, users of the service recently had been looking for hints about when Microsoft might move it out of beta.

AdCenter Analytics was designed to compete with Google Analytics as well as a host of other products that Carson listed in his blog post as possible alternatives for the beta users.

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