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Verdiem Aims At Home PCs, Launches Edison

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Ever since Verdiem, a startup that makes software to manage the power consumption of office PCs, told us it was working on a more consumer-oriented web product, we’ve been waiting to see what it has in the works. Here ’tis: This morning the Seattle, Wash.-based company has launched Edison, a free software download for the rest of us that will manage the power consumption of our home PCs.

The company says Edison is its answer to all those home PCs that don’t have the power settings enabled; Verdiem’s VP Marketing Allison Cornia said on a call this week, 90 percent of the world’s desktop computers have energy management settings disabled. The software itself is slick and easy-to-use, with settings to manage power for work hours and non work hours. The company is even planning to work with Carbon Rally to offer the opportunity to use that power (and carbon) saving data in a social network setting; the idea being you can see how green you are compared to your peer group.

But, as Cornia pointed on the call, about half of U.S. PC users don’t know what power management software is or how to use it. While Edison is pretty simple, convincing the average user to visit Verdiem’s web site and actively download the software will take a lot of convincing, i.e. marketing. For that, Verdiem is hoping to work with partners and eventually bundle the software with big OEM partners; HP already bundles an HP-branded version of Edison for business customers. Microsoft is also asking Windows PC users to download Edison to “augment” current PC power settings. Major deals like that could put the software on PCs much more quickly.

Above all, Edison seems like a savvy marketing move for Verdiem. It likely won’t make up a substantial part of company sales, but it’s good for getting the company’s name out there and likely wasn’t too expensive to build. And as John Skinner, co-chair of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative’s Marketing Workgroup said to us on a call, home desktop computers are the low hanging fruit — the CSCI is looking to reduce carbon emissions from computers 54 million tons by 2010 and calling for 10 million downloaded copies of Edison this year. With 2 percent of carbon emissions attributed to computing, small initiatives like Edison could make a real dent. That is, if the company can get the word out.

Verdiem does have some newly raised marketing money. In April the company closed a round of $12 million, led by NCD Investors (formerly Northgate Capital) and existing investors Kleiner Perkins, the Westly Group, Catamount Ventures, Falcon Partners and Phoenix Partners. Final thought: We want a Mac version.