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In the wake of Google pulling the plug on its energy tool PowerMeter (s goog), Microsoft (s MSFT) says it has now killed its energy service, Hohm, too. Microsoft writes on its blog that it will discontinue its Hohm service starting on May 31, 2012.
[D]ue to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market.
Google gave the same reason for killing PowerMeter: just not enough people and utilities had signed up to use it. Microsoft had already publicly discussed how it was trying to evolve the Hohm service, after launching it two years ago.
Unlike with Google’s PowerMeter, Hohm offered more accessibility to a regular consumer that didn’t have a smart meter yet, creating a web portal that let people look at the energy efficiency of their home. Microsoft licensed algorithms from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to create it. Other plans for Hohm were to use it as a software layer for electric vehicle charging and even broader building energy management.
Also in contrast to Google’s PowerMeter, Microsoft intended Hohm to be a revenue-generating product. Clearly it didn’t work out that way. Other companies that have launched services and gadgets in the home energy management space have changed course considerably or folded. Check out my GigaOM Pro article from summer 2009: Where Not To Make Money: Energy Management Software (subscription required).