JCL Blog

HP Announces Printing in the Cloud

HP rolled out its web printing capability, ePrintCenter, at Internet Week NY yesterday.  Here is a pretty good article in PC Mag about it.  

I don't ordinarily write about individual technology announcements, so why would I write about this?

Well, yesterday I wrote about two things that could really change the way small businesses buy technology: Google's Cloud Printing and Tungle.me's web based scheduling service.  Google's thing is still just a plan and HP has promised to deliver cloud printing this summer.  

Here is how it will work (from the PC Mag article):

The print-through-the Internet feature (which won't work with the older generation printers, unfortunately) lets you simply e-mail a file to the ePrintCenter's email address, which rasterizes the image and sends the print job to the printer. According to HP, the ePrintCenter can handle files in most common formats, including PDF, JPG, and Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 versions of Word and Excel. Each printer gets a unique e-mail address.

I stopped buying HP printers for home a couple of years ago because they break so much and the software on the PC was gigantic.  Why printing would require software in the hundreds of MBs just never made any sense to me.  Add to that the fact that the software was telling me to download updates every other day -- and I was reminded early and often that HP was not the printer to buy.  All I wanted to do was print!

Anyone who has ever done tech support will tell you that printing is still a giant pain in the neck.  If HP does this right -- it could be a game changer.

This may not seem like a big deal -- but I bet the Microsoft Small Business Server team is thinking about the implications.