Google is testing its Google Cloud Print service internally and hopes to make it available in the coming months after testing it with printer makers, company officials said June 7.
The company introduced Cloud Print in April as a service that lets any application print to any printer from any computing device using Google’s cloud computing infrastructure.
Google envisions the solution as an alternative to the on-premises print solutions that use myriad drivers to execute print tasks, though the company plans to support those legacy printers as well through a proxy running on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux machines.
Cloud Print is also the de facto print medium 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. Netbooks running Chrome OS are coming from Acer and others later this year.
“Development is progressing quickly, and we are now testing the service internally at Google,” said Google Cloud Print Product Manager Mike Jazayeri.
“Those testing it are particularly excited about being able to print from their phones to any printer in the company. We hope to launch the service in the coming months.”
Hewlett-Packard announced its support for Google Cloud Print at an event in New York City, where the printer maker unveiled a suite of cloud-aware printers for consumers and businesses. These printers will work with Google Cloud Print out of the box.
Jazayeri and Sundar Pichai, vice president for client products at Google, demonstrated how a user might use his smartphone to print a tax form using Google Cloud Print and Chrome OS without drivers.
Pichai noted during the demo, which begins at the 31:37 mark of this video from HP’s event:
“We have a cloud service which can talk to any cloud printer. This is very complementary with what HP is doing. … I got very excited with what they are trying to accomplish.”
While HP appears to be at the forefront of the printing cloud movement, Jazayeri said Google is working with a number of printer manufacturers to bring cloud print capabilities to their printers.