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Microsoft Pulls Plug on Hohm, Focuses on Commercial Apps

Microsoft is pulling its Hohm energy management platform, but has signaled that it will concentrate instead on commercial and industrial energy applications.

The IT giant announced on the Hohm blog that it will be discontinuing the service effective May 31, 2012. The move comes just days after Google announced that it will retire its PowerMeter application.

The feedback from customers and partners has remained encouraging throughout Microsoft Hohm’s beta period,” Microsoft said. “However, due to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market.”

Already last March, Microsoft chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard admitted that customers have been slow to adopt Hohm.

But, like Google, Microsoft claimed success in demonstrating a need for its product.

“Microsoft Hohm has helped demonstrate the critical role of information in helping people and organizations improve how energy is generated, distributed and ultimately consumed,” the company said.

And Microsoft says it will continue to work on the development of products for a wide variety of industries, including power generation, distribution grids, buildings and transportation systems. This includes Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA), which creates common standards for smart devices to plug into the grid; and collaboration with utilities, governments, building management companies and universities to develop “energy-smart solutions for growing cities”.

On the consumer side, Microsoft’s Joulemeter allows individuals to estimate the power consumption of their computers.

“The announcements by Google and Microsoft reinforce a market reality we’ve understood for some time—energy management vendors need to enable the utilities and not circumvent them to be successful,” said Adrian Tuck, CEO of smart grid technology company Tendril.

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