Microsoft to Monitor Your Home

By Mike Vizard

In a sign of things to come, Microsoft announced at CeBit today that it has signed a unique partnership with a provider of Internet services in Germany to monitor power consumption in people's homes.

The service, from a company called Yello Strom, leverages a device, dubbed Yello Sparzahler, that runs an application on top of Windows CE that is capable of keeping track of how energy is being consumed by any device or appliance in the home. Yello Strom, which provides that device to mane the services, uses a raft of back-end products from Microsoft to deliver its Internet services to customers.

No word as to when this type of service will be available from other Internet service providers in the United States, but it will surely raise a few eyebrows as people contemplate just how much other data they want to share with Microsoft down the road.