Google Cloud Print Connects 6M Printers Via Chrome

Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) said Google Cloud Print has connected more than 6 million
printers via the Google Chrome Web browser, the first time the search engine
giant-turned business computing provider has released statistics for its
Web-based printing service.

More
importantly, the new Chrome 16 build lets anyone using the browser on Windows,
Mac and Linux computers print any Web page to Google Cloud Print. Previously,
this capability was only available via Chromebooks.

Google introduced Google Cloud Print in April 2010 to
let any application print to any printer from any computing device using
Google’s cloud computing infrastructure.

The Web
service was designed to enable printing for notebook computers based on its
Chrome Operating System, a Web-based operating system that eschews drivers.
Google, which is positioning Chrome OS as a way to extend its cloud and mobile
computing efforts, said it did not want to build a bunch of printer drivers for
every computing device and operating system.

Thus came Cloud
Print, which the company formally rolled out this year and gained support
from printer power Hewlett-Packard in April 2011.

Chrome OS-based Chromebooks rolled out from
Samsung, and Acer rolled out its version this past summer, but adoption of the
machines has been tepid at best. Both companies are now selling the machines for $300.

Despite the
lukewarm reception to Chromebooks, Google Cloud Print Product Manager Akshay Kannan said
in a blog post that Google has seen “a surge of enthusiasm from users and
developers.”

In addition to
the 6 million Cloud Print-connected printers, he said dozens of cloud-ready
printers have been released or announced by Epson, HP and Kodak. Also,
developers have built applications and extensions to port the service to run on mobile devices based on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and
Google’s own Android platform.

Kannan also
noted that Google now enables Cloud Print users to share their printers with
friends and family, while users can now save their online receipts and
confirmation pages to the Google Docs collaboration application. 

Webmasters can
add the print button element to their Website to enable printing functionality
for tablets and mobile phones, and Google turned on print preview for
Chromebooks.

Google plans
to enable Cloud Print from more Google applications and work with partners to
add more printers and printing services.

 




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