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Microsoft discontinues Hohm; slow adoption to blame

Microsoft said Thursday that it will discontinue its Hohm energy management service on May 31, 2012 because of "slow overall market adoption."

Microsoft said Thursday that it will discontinue its Hohm energy management service on May 31, 2012 because of "slow overall market adoption."

The company said it will instead focusing its efforts on products "more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market."

The news comes less than a week after rival Google announced that it too would be closing down its energy management cloud service, PowerMeter.

The Hohm service was an early approach to helping consumers see their residential energy usage. It was launched two years ago and designed to complement Microsoft's existing work in the power generation, distribution, buildings and transportation sectors.

The driving motive behind Hohm was to surface information to empower consumers to make better decisions. The primary hurdle, of course, is to make consumers actually care about usage beyond the final tally on their electricity bill.

Microsoft says it will press on in building energy management systems for cities, using its Smart Energy Reference Architecture. It will also continue to participate in its Climate Savers Computing Initiative, which focuses on power management and energy efficiency for computers.

"We will continue to develop technologies that help people and organizations reduce their impact on the environment," the company said in a statement. "Much more work remains to realize a sustainable future."

In a video below from last year, executives from each company explain their strategies for the services:

[video=420353]

And in this video, chief environmental strategist Rob Bernard demonstrates Hohm to our own Sumi Das:

[video=353065]

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