Microsoft announces its new Hohm service:
Called “Hohm” (presumably, a play on the combination of “home and “Ohm”), the product will take advantage of smart grid data on energy use when it’s available. Even when it’s not, however, Hohm will allow users to input their own details and share the results of their efficiency efforts, adding a bit of a Web 2.0 sheen to matters. The move comes after a number of other major IT powers, including Google and Cisco, have announced their own efforts in the area, suggesting that a lot of people think this market is about to take off.
The Ars Technica article goes on to say that Microsoft will use their cloud computing service to store data, and that they will take advantage of increasing standardization as smart grid standards evolve (I must voice a little skepticism, because it’s not clear to me that Microsoft really buys in to interoperability with non-Microsoft products and services; any Mac user who has given a Power Point presentation with images on a Windows box knows exactly what I mean).
Another interesting “Web 2.0” feature in Hohm is the ability to share and compare your use, your energy efficiency tips and tricks, and other information such as product reviews of smart appliances. Microsoft is not at the vanguard in this (the real leader in this space is Tendril), but their incorporation of this social media capability is a strong reinforcement of the use of such applications and communication models to change consumer behavior.