The HP Universal Print Driver 5 released earlier this summer. A maintenance release of this version corrects some items listed in the "Breaking News" tab of the HP Universal Print Driver site. Please review the following sources of information:
- Detailed release notes for the original HP Universal Print Driver 5.0 launch
- NEW: Universal Print Driver System Administrator's Guide
- Other documents for WTS, Citrix and Cluster environments published under the "Documents" tab of the UPD site.
- Compatibility with plug-and-play as well as print language support for devices under the "Specifications" tab of the UPD site.
As always, if you have questions for new or existing product, please consult the support resource your sales team provided to you. If you have not been working with an HP Sales representative for enhanced support, call 1-800-HP-INVENT. Regards, B.
As many IT administrators know, the launch of Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Server 2008 R2 are quickly coming around the corner. The MS Windows 7 wide release comes on the 22nd of October, 2009. I know most of my customers are looking forward to this release from Microsoft. Administrators managing devices such as printers, scanners, multifunction and all-in-one products will likely want to plan for compatibility and readiness.
Commercial LaserJet, Color LaserJet and Edgeline Drivers:
Customers who have moved to simplify their deployed drivers on print servers and clients are in good shape with the HP Universal Print Driver. While they may be fine with earlier versions, officially support from HP comes with the current 5.0 version (www.hp.com/go/universalprintdriver). Specifications on what hardware models are supported by this print driver and method of connectivity are listed on the "Specifications" tab from the UPD's website. For administrators sharing drivers from print servers or hosting as direct-IP or USB connections for compatible devices, this is a good option and the recommended one to go with by Hewlett-Packard in most cases.
Other Imaging and Printing Products including printers, scanners, all-in-one's, etc.:
HP has posted a Windows 7 readiness portal at www.hp.com/go/win7. It’s been recently updated with the link for “HP Imaging and Printing Software and Driver Information for Windows® 7”. Click this link to see if your product is (or will be) supported in the Windows 7 environment. Consider the following:
- Right now the device list looks relatively complete and detailed. If you do not see your device there, talk with your HP sales representative as you plan for fleet deployments or contact your support contact for confirmations if required on what is or is not supported. There are always options for unsupported devices, including trade-up programs and seasonal trade-in promotions.
- Customers will not see download links for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 drivers just yet on the HP portal, but the Windows 7 Readiness portal advises: "HP Software & Driver downloads will be available closer to the official release of Windows® 7, which is scheduled for October 22, 2009." Customers can expect to see those download links appear as the URL advised closer to the launch date.
Kind regards, B.
UPDATE (01-OCT-2009): Customers will start seeing links on download locations appearing for HP's commercial products like Laserjet, Color LaserJet and Edgeline devices showing "Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit)" and "Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)". There's not much content there yet, but as I start to see drivers post for various products I'll advise. No such links exist yet for the consumer and small business and commercial direct-attached oriented products like DeskJet and OfficeJet products, but when I see stuff, I'll advise. Don't forget the "Windows Update" feature for many drivers which are already available for distribution from Microsoft documented here: www.hp.com/go/win7.
Apple's "Snow Leopard", which released on Friday, updates the Mac OS X platform to version 10.6. Here are the Apple and HP resources available to help determine compatibility for your select models plus some of the refinements related to print which Apple mentions.
Mac OS 10.6 compatible HP devices and drivers are listed on Apple's Website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3669#HP
According to Apple's "What's New" section, Snow Leopard sports the following major enhancement that is definitely note worthy here:
Automatic updates for printer drivers.
Snow Leopard makes sure you always have the most up-to-date driver so you can get the most from your printer. When you plug in a printer, Mac OS X can download the latest driver available over the Internet. And it periodically checks to make sure it has the latest driver. If not, it downloads the newest version through Software Update. Easy.
Source: http://www.apple.com/macosx/refinements/ (30 AUG 2009)
More information is available in the following knowledge base article from Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3771
For those interested in optionally downloading the 10.6 Drivers from Apple's website (outside of the Apple Software Update), visit the following URL: http://support.apple.com/downloads/HP_Printer_Drivers_for_Mac_OS_X_v10_6. Note that generally in the past I've always recommended my customers to download drivers and software from HP for Windows and Macintosh platforms at www.hp.com/go/support). And while the HP "Mac Connect" site still shows 10.5 information (understandable given this recent 10.6 update only just launched), there is other really great information there about HP and Apple compatibility for printers, media servers, etc.: http://www.hp.com/go/mac-connect.
I haven't tested the Apple versus HP distributed drivers myself so I'd be curious to see what the differences are (if any). Post your comments and feedback if you have information based on your experiences you'd care to share. Thanks, B.
UPDATE (5 SEP 2009): I've had to take the unprecidented approach of closing comments for this particular article. As with any major operating system change, check to validate compatibility of your drivers. HP has posted a support URL here:
Several people have reported incompatibility with devices which are indeed supported. I can only encourage you to call into HP's support line and work with a technical support representative to resolve your issues - that's what they're there for. Listed devices will show whether there's full (including scanning) support or only partial (print only) support. If your device is not listed or only partially supported, it may indeed be unsupported although there are indications on various non-HP sites implying success by downloading the drivers for 10.5 (Leopard).
As a reminder, this weblog is put up for large commercial audiences with a managed IT environment. My primary audience would normally observe prudent testing before deployment of a new OS and release to their environment only once drivers (including printers and scanners) are found to be compatible. In some cases, this may never come to be depending on the age and market the device is sold into so for consumers who happen to find the blog through a search engine, I would simply recommend similar cautious steps. Before you purchase and deploy the major OS upgrade from Apple, check the vendor sites for compatibility. Both Apple and HP have support URLs highlighting what is and is not compatible with their new platform. Where possible HP indicates where it is attempting to update drivers from the support URL above. Thanks and regards, B.
Posted by: Brian R. Kneebone
Technology Consultant, Imaging and Printing Group
Most enterprise customers I work with equate enterprise printing with laser printing. While Hewlett-Packard has a fantastic array of products in its LaserJet and Color LaseJet portfolio, for many needs ink-based solutions may be perceived as inappropriate. Many customers think of the low-cost devices as having higher operational costs, challenges with archivability including water fastness, and issues with tracking and monitoring over the network (especially for USB-connected devices) using tools like HP Web Jetadmin. Hewlett-Packard continues to challenge these perceptions with new advancements in it's HP OfficeJet Pro line-up refreshed in February.
Customers purchasing OfficeJet Pro products may be surprised to learn the following major benefits:
Better cost per page than can typically be found on color laser based devices with a lower acquisition cost.
Better registration and fewer jams with a center paper-pick mechanism.
Advanced direct digital filing in all-in-ones for the ability to scan to email and other destinations without software.
Corporate slim drivers designed for large enterprise business available for download online.
Ability to track and monitor using HP Web Jetadmin, even if connected using USB to client desktops when used with the HP SNMP Proxy Agent.
Posted by: Brian R. Kneebone
Technology Consultant, Imaging and Printing Group
I work with large enterprise customers where they look to Hewlett-Packard to solve universal problems you may be interested in, including: reducing wasted prints, facilitating document capture, improving electronic and paper security, reducing costs of specialty printing, etc. Hewlett-Packard has made strong investments in the solutions space to help customers optimize their infrastructure, manage their environment and improve workflows. For some people, this may be as simple as doing more with the printers, MFPs, scanners, etc. they purchase from HP already. For others, they may look for solutions which alter business process to improve efficiencies. If you're thinking along these lines, I strongly you to take a look at the HP Global Solution Catalog and the HP LaserJet Fonts websites which have been recently updated showing more solution partners, better descriptions, more products, etc.
Take care, B.