Print 24 comment(s) - last by Camikazi.. on Apr 18 at 5:45 PM

Google's cloud printing scheme ditches local drivers, promising to alleviate compatibility problems.  (Source: Google)
Print to any printer from any place

Depending on who you ask, the upcoming Chrome operating system from Google is either reinventing the wheel by structuring an entire UI around the browser and browser apps, or is merely another trivial Linux skin.  Regardless of what you think personally, the OS will make some big waves when it launches holiday season 2010, likely on select netbooks and tablets.

Today Google unveiled an impressive cloud printing scheme.  The basic idea is that your apps (in Google's case, all internet apps) can remotely print to a printer in your home, all without any wires or direct communication. 

It's not the first to dream up such an idea.  Hewlett Packard currently offers a technology called "HP Remote Printing" that lets your print to network printers over the internet while on the road.

What makes Google's plan unique is that its a full fledged cloud printing scheme; HP's service only allows you to print JPG images of content.  

The Chrome cloud printing will untangle the mess of print drivers that Windows deals with, installing a single stable print infrastructure in the cloud that can communicate with your added devices.  

Describes Google:

Using the one component all major devices and operating systems have in common-- access to the cloud-- today we're introducing some preliminary designs for a project called Google Cloud Print, a service that enables any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer. 

Rather than rely on the local operating system (or drivers) to print, apps can use Google Cloud Print to submit and manage print jobs. Google Cloud Print will then be responsible for sending the print job to the appropriate printer with the particular options the user selected, and returning the job status to the app.

While Microsoft's public beta and release candidate test program for Windows 7 (and extensive dialogue via the Windows Team blog) were a great step forward for the company, Google is offering the public an even closer view of the design process with Chrome.

Chrome is an open source OS and Google is slowly sharing the code with the public.  Along with the cloud printing announcement it unveiled design docs and outlinescode; and documentationfor the service.

Initial reaction to the service was mixed, despite its innovative nature.  Some mentioned privacy concerns, and others complained that it would be inefficient if print jobs are sent from your computer to the cloud and then back to a network printer on your local LAN.

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cloud-aware printer?
By Spivonious on 4/16/2010 10:12:59 AM , Rating: 3
Is anyone else afraid that spam is going to start printing out from "cloud-aware" printers?

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By Brandon Hill on 4/16/2010 10:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
My first thought as well. Google scares me sometimes.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By Connoisseur on 4/16/2010 10:18:52 AM , Rating: 2
What you mean because they want to become the Wal-Mart of information? Definitely innovative services but man. Imagine the day they want to start charging after you've already given them all your data.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By MrDiSante on 4/16/2010 10:25:49 AM , Rating: 3
Forget charging for it, imagine all your information going through their servers.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By sinful on 4/17/2010 6:20:33 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't that like worrying about what would happen if China raised its prices after we've shipped all our factories out of our country?

I mean, who cares really, as long as it's cheap NOW?

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By porkpie on 4/16/2010 10:27:59 AM , Rating: 3
Reminds me of the pre-Internet days...when advertisers would fax you an unsolicited 50-page brochure, and you'd actually wind up paying to print their own promotional materials.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By oab on 4/16/2010 11:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
They still do.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By The0ne on 4/16/2010 1:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely still do, just not as much as it use to be with email and all now :)

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By lagitup on 4/18/2010 1:29:31 PM , Rating: 3
That's when you tape several sheets of black paper together in a loop that is being perpetually fed through your fax machine and reply to them. They will beg for mercy.

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By ksherman on 4/16/2010 10:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
But it would only be a text ad! None of those silly flash banners! :-P

I like the concept, but I've personally never run into printing issues except on my University's network (which is retarded).

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By Anoxanmore on 4/16/2010 10:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
Skynet is coming... ;)

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By nvalhalla on 4/16/2010 10:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
Good thought. My first thought was my word documents are going to have AdSense banners now...

RE: cloud-aware printer?
By bradmshannon on 4/16/2010 1:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
Great, now my forums buddies can surprise me with Goatse on my screen AND on my printer.

By danobrega on 4/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Advanges?
By porkpie on 4/16/2010 10:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
You don't? An email on your Blackberry, a document on your iPad, a web page on your Xbox browser -- all printable directly to your home printer, without even the need for a local network or print server, and eliminating the problems of non-Windows devices?

There are plenty of advantages in the concept. The proof is in the pudding, however.

RE: Advanges?
By bhieb on 4/16/2010 11:06:39 AM , Rating: 1
without even the need for a local network or print server

While I agree there are great advantages, and is going to be pretty cool.

This part is not technically accurate. You still need (well at least desire) a local network. Unless of course your iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Xbox, PC, and notebook all have their own data connection (each costing you $X/month). Plus at a miniumum a network facing printer (which has a built in print server so you kinda need that too even if it is hid from the user).

RE: Advanges?
By BigToque on 4/16/2010 11:26:08 AM , Rating: 2
Any document accessible to my phone/console/netbook/laptop is going to be available to my computer attached to the printer.

What happens if the network goes down and you have something on your device already that you want to print?

A printer being able to connect to the net is definitely an interesting idea, but there's no way you can remove the ability to print locally. Printer drivers are here to stay.

RE: Advanges?
By danobrega on 4/16/2010 11:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
I think installing a printer driver, which commonly is just inserting a CD and pressing Next a few times is far easier than configuring a printer to have access to the Internet.

I wonder how will you "debug" when you press print and nothing happens. And who are you going to call? The print manufacturer? Google? Your ISP? Right...

This is a typical case of failing to keep it simple.

By corduroygt on 4/16/2010 11:17:35 AM , Rating: 2
Now when your boss fires you after a video conference, he can also make sure all 5 of your home printers print a page that says "You're Fired" on it.

Speaking of which, where are my self adjusting/drying clothes, hoverboards and flying cars?

RE: Great
By Spivonious on 4/16/2010 2:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Forget that other stuff, I want Mr. Fusion.

RE: Great
By Camikazi on 4/18/2010 5:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
I see what you did there :)

By CList on 4/17/2010 2:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
People still print?

...To paper?!? you'll tell me there are still people using fax machines! A little late for April Fools guys, come on now....

The Cloud stinks!
By augiem on 4/16/2010 2:30:02 PM , Rating: 1
"Cloud Print"?? It makes me want to barf. WHY??? do they have to slap some catchy branding or terminology on everything!? Oooo! Everything's "In the Cloud", wow awesome! We already have a perfectly good, marketing-free term for this concept -- it's called a f'n network. We can't call it the internet anymore, noooooo! That was so 90's. Too techie nerdo for the trendy, modern, fashionista consumer. Tweet and twitter a noxious Cloud out your a$$.

Note to marketing departments: YOU SUCK!

By eirruby on 4/17/2010 2:18:55 PM , Rating: 1
That would be a great idea of google, smart phones are now looking forward to print documents anywhere they want and fast. This google cloud print will make smartphone users make their life easier including business who uses iPhones and iPads.

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