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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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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.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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