It should come as no surprise that Microsoft announced this week that they would be discontinuing their adCenter Analytics beta program as of the end of 2009. The odd thing is that no real reason was given for the discontinuation.
Introduced in 2007, adCenter Analytics never really established itself in the web analytics field, and rarely, did the Bing Paid Search system, adCenter ever suggest trying out the service or offer incentives to do so.
Another interesting quote from the blog post announcement:
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. 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.
While no exact future plans are revealed, this does seem to infer that there are plans for some sort of Microsoft Analytics program at some point in the future. But how important is a future analytics program to Microsoft when they finish the blog with a list of alternative analytics programs, including their biggest competitor in the search industry, Google Analytics (and the Google-owned Urchin)? That is right – Microsoft included Google Analytics to its readers as a valid alternative to their own analytics.