Hohm may be Microsoft's answer to Google PowerMeter, but unlike PowerMeter, the Microsoft energy management application is a money-making venture. PowerMeter is under the philanthropic Google.org umbrella, while Hohm is part of Microsoft's quest to make advertising revenue an ever-growing part of its business. But will consumers find Hohm compelling enough to use?
Even though Hohm, scheduled to be released any day now, will ultimately focus on letting consumers evaluate energy costs by accessing smart grid-connected power meters, the application will initially just act as an energy education tool--one filled with contextual advertising. The program's first incarnation will feature a series of questions for consumers about their energy use, a home energy report that shows off ways to save cash (i.e. CFL bulbs, professionally sealed ducts), and the ability to browse through Microsoft's energy-saving suggestions, which include Energy Star roofing material and setting a computer to hibernate when not in use.
Microsoft imagines that, "When consumers receive their personalized energy savings recommendations they could be served up advertisements powered by Microsoft Advertising platform for relevant local vendors and/or products. For example, if a consumer receives a recommendation to replace windows, he or she could find the system offers up local window vendors in the area and coupons/rebates on energy efficient windows." Besides total energy geeks, though, who is going to want to use Hohm before it syncs up with smart meters? Google is already a step ahead of the game, testing its smart meter synced PowerMeter with a small number of utility partners. In total, Google has nine utilities on board for the full launch later this year---besting Hohm's four partners. If Microsoft doesn't step up its game, the company's contextual advertising won't reach much of an audience.
[Via CE Pro  ]