Looking to enable printing without drivers for computers running Google Chrome OS, Google introduced Google Cloud Print. The service lets any application print to any printer from any computing device using Google's cloud computing infrastructure. Google Cloud Print will submit and manage print jobs via the cloud instead of relying on a local operating system or drivers to print. Though the service is still under development, Google April 15 released code and documentation as part of the open-source Chromium and Chromium OS projects.
Google April 15 introduced Google Cloud Print, a service
that lets any application print to any printer from any computing device using
Google's cloud computing infrastructure.
Google Cloud Print was designed as a solution for Google's Chrome Operating System
, a Web-based operating system that boots up computers
in a fraction of the time it takes to start most of today's machines.
The open source-based Chrome OS is intended as an alternative to computers
running Microsoft Windows. Google intends Chrome OS to
power Web apps on netbooks
and other mobile devices, such as tablets.
Google, which intends to use Chrome OS to help extend its
cloud and mobile computing efforts, publicly said
it did not want to build a bunch of printer drivers for every computing
device and operating system.
If not a printer driver, then what was the alternative solution?
Google Cloud Print attempts to answers that key question.
Google Product Manager Mike Jazayeri said in a blog post
that Google's desire was to build a printing service that would enable Web apps to
give users the full printing capabilities that exists in today's native
"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," Jazayeri wrote.
To wit, Cloud Print uses Google's cloud infrastructure to
Google submit and manage print jobs instead of relying on a local operating
system or drivers to print.
Though the service is still under development, Google
today released code and documentation
as part of the open source Chromium and
Chromium OS projects.
Chrome OS is expected on netbooks
by November or
December of this year and a Google spokesperson told eWEEK the company is on schedule.
While it is unclear whether Chrome OS will appear on netbooks from
Acer, Asus, HP and others at that time, the company is certainly
experimenting with different form
Chrome OS could appear on
to challenge Apple's iPad later this year. However, Google CEO Eric Schmidt
an Android tablet is in the works. Google has declined to
comment on this speculation.
This begs the question: will Google release netbooks,
tablets and other mobile devices with Android and Chrome OS? Will they
cannibalize each other as they seek to challenge Microsoft and Apple devices?
For now, there are more questions than answers.