HP and RIM Eye Mobile Printing Link

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2001-09-17

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research In Motion Ltd. have embarked on an effort to enable wireless printing from RIM BlackBerry devices to HP printers.

Due early next year, the HP Mobile Enterprise Printing application will allow BlackBerry customers to print e-mail and Windows-based attachments remotely to network printers accessible through their businesses intranets.

"As long as you know the name of the printer and the queue its attached to, you can send it anywhere," said George Mulhern, vice president of connectivity at HP, in Boise, Idaho.

The two companies demonstrated the application at RIMs booth at the CTIA Wireless IT & Internet conference in San Diego last week.

"This is a bellwether day for us," said Jim Balsille, chairman and co-CEO of RIM, in Waterloo, Ontario. "Youll soon have directories on the BlackBerry, so you can print any document anywhere in the world at any time."

The application will support printing of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files; Adobe PDF files; and JPEG images.

HP officials said the company likely will support wireless printing for other devices in the future, including HPs own Jornada handheld computers. "This is the first announcement of any type of mobile printing solution for us," Mulhern said. "But obviously were working on HP solutions as well."

According to a study by The Yankee Group, a market research company in Boston, approximately 50 percent of businesses will have implemented wireless data solutions by 2003. The increases will come as wireless vendors fulfill the promise of offering high-value, comprehensive wireless solutions, the study said.

More than 10,000 organizations across North America are using the BlackBerry, according to RIM officials.

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