IBM, Intel, Cisco...it's an impressive list of high-tech companies involved in the burgeoning smart grid industry. Microsoft, determined not to be left behind, yesterday announced a platform to develop "the integrative utility of the future."
Microsoft's Smart Energy Reference Architecture (SERA) works with smart grid-related devices to handle the overwhelming amount of data coming their way. The system will also adapt smart grid devices to a common plug-in standard in the same way that innumerable devices can easily plug into today's PCs. Microsoft remains mum about details of the system's inner workings, but the company already boasts a number of impressive clients for SERA, including Accenture, Alstom Power, and AREVA.
The SERA announcement is the latest in Microsoft's stream of energy-related products. The company also recently released Hohm, a Google PowerMeter-like Web application that helps consumers monitor their energy usage.