Wednesday, March 07, 2007

HP's Universal Drivers -- barrier to entry

Patrick Hoffman at takes on a big enterprise-oriented question in a piece titled "Are Universal Print Drivers a Competitive Advantage for HP?" that quotes two well-known industry analysts (Peter Grant of Gartner and Keith Kmetz of IDC) along with HP (NYSE HPQ) Marketing VP Vince Ferraro. The conclusion is that the answer to the question asked in the title in "yes", HP's universal drivers give HP a leg up in enterprise (corporate) accounts tasked with supporting hundreds of different printers in various operating environments. HP has a large advantage on this front, compared to competitors Xerox, Lexmark, Canon, Epson, and Dell.

As I look around my offices, while not what most would classify as an "enterprise", I certainly can relate to the difficulty of keeping many devices working on multiple computers, especially when they all require unique driver software.

Vince Ferraro, btw, has blogged on the subject of Universal Print Drivers recently.

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