Microsoft Reveals Its Smart Grid Architecture, SERA


Microsoft (s MSFT) revealed today the latest part of its plan to carve out a fatter slice of the smart grid pie: a software architecture for utilities called Smart Energy Reference Architecture, or SERA. Described by Microsoft as its “first comprehensive reference architecture that addresses technology integration throughout the full scope of the smart energy ecosystem,” SERA is meant to help smart devices connect to the grid via common standards, similar to the way a range of consumer electronics can plug into today’s PCs.

Today’s launch comes less than four months after Microsoft showed off (after two years of work) its Hohm consumer energy monitoring tool — a device that Troy Batterberry, product unit manager for the company’s Energy Management & Home Automation division, told us was only the first step to working with smart devices and ultimately moving into the control layer for energy systems.

As it did with the Hohm launch, Microsoft is boasting stamps of approval for SERA from major industry partners, including power plant equipment maker Alstom Power, systems integrator Accenture (s ACN), smart meter company Itron (s ITRI) and software maker ESRI. Microsoft also took a swipe at startups, noting in its release that stimulus-funded smart grid projects “will need sound, tested technologies,” and claiming that with Microsoft’s offerings, utilities will “be able to implement solutions faster and more reliably than they could with solutions offered by competitors.”


Robert MacKimmie

Hopefully the power grid wont’ end up like the US Navy battleship powered by Microsoft NT – you remember, the battleship that was completely dead in the water. Would anyone fly in a plane controlled by a Microsoft operating system? I wouldn’t bet my life on it. So with national security requirements and the grid?

“Sunk by Windows NT
While Microsoft continues to trumpet the success of its NT operating system over Unix-based systems, the US Navy is having second thoughts about putting NT at the helm. A system failure on the USS Yorktown last September temporarily paralyzed the cruiser, leaving it stalled in port for the remainder of a weekend. “For about two-and-a-half hours, the ship was what we call ‘dead in the water,'” said Commander John Singley of the Atlantic Fleet Surface Force…”

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