This might come across as a cheap shot but, having witnessed on lots of occasions Microsoft dismiss Google and other Web 2.0 companies perpetual beta products as risky and fickle, it was somewhat amusing to read that Microsoft is pulling the plug on its own adCenter analytics product.
The Microsoft product, which sits squarely in competition with Google analytics and microsoft are putting a positve spin on the closure saying;
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
Of course I’d have to say that the acid test for a beta product is that it eventually exits beta and begins to monetise – it seems somewhat oxymoronic to say a beta was a success if it results in the axing of the product.
It seems then that in this day and age of massively rapid product development, long-tail fuelled inception of edge and very edge solutions, and general uncertainty as to the value plays of the future, no one is immune from having to go out on lots of different limbs and have a “fail cheap, fail fast” mentality.
It’s not a criticism of Microsoft – either for trying adCentre or for eventually canning it. It is however something of a reminder that there is no black and white anymore – the “rock solid, predictable and measured” vendors of old are having to become hyper proactive – that’s great fr customers, but also sometimes a pain when things don’t go to plan.