Microsoft today rolled out its home power management service called Hohm.
Google announced its foray into this business earlier this year with the Google PowerMeter, but Microsoft’s been quietly working on its effort for two years now.
Microsoft’s Hohm is available to all 120 million households, regardless of their utility company, unlike PowerMeter. Both PowerMeter and Hohm are free for consumers.
With Hohm, Microsoft plans to initially make money through advertising – that is, by recommending products on its website and earning commissions on products sold.
Google might decide to make money by letting other companies use its service or, in the long run, by selling customer data. Both companies are venturing away from their revenue comfort zones. Google’s revenue is heavily dependent on advertising and Microsoft’s on software licenses.
Home energy management is a hot business this year. More than 10 companies have entered this space so far, including pure software companies, pure hardware companies and companies that offer both.
Image: Christian Gunthier
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