Thursday, May 08, 2008

HP's (NYSE HPQ) "reduce printing" tool for the Web

I haven't mentioned it for some time (see September 2007's "HP's Smart Web Printing Reviewed in WSJ"), but HP (NYSE HPQ) has been recently touting their Web printing tool, now as a way to "Stop wasting paper & ink with Smart Web Printing". I saw this headline in their latest emailed "HP Technology at Work Newsletter".

Here are a few observations from me. First, I'm glad to see HP's hanging in there with this latest version (circa 2007) of a Web printing tool. Second, I'm glad to see them adapt its positioning, and somewhat ironically noting that the original idea was to promote "more" printing by making Web printing more accessible to users, but now is a part of their "Green" message on printing less.

And last, even though the Web print utility "works on both ink and laser printers" it must have been an inkjet type who wrote that headline about saving ink!

Note: this is a revised post. See "Clarifying HP's (NYSE HPQ) Smart Web Printing browser support".


Ravi said...

Hi Jim,

Thank you for posting your observations on HP Smart Web Printing.

I wanted to provide a quick clarification on your post. HP Smart Web Printing supports IE6, IE7 and Firefox 2.x on Windows. The wording for IE7 support in "HP Technology at Work Newsletter" was probably not clear.

There are two features of Smart Web Printing (Clipping of web pages on the right edge and useless few lines of text on a page)that are issues in IE6, but do not apply for IE7. IE7 fixes these issues by providing "Shrink to fit" functionality. Users can install Smart Web Printing on IE7 and take advantage of all the features except the two features that are applicable to IE6 users only.

I hope this helps.

Ravi Adusumilli
Product Manager for Smart Web Printing

Jim Lyons said...

Ravi --

Thanks for your follow-up on this. This does indeed clarify things. I will make a corresponding correction in my main post.

(It's still not clear why these features would be IE6 only and not apply to Firefox?)

Ravi said...

Hi Jim,

Thank you for accepting my comments.

The 2 features/issues are also not applicable to Firefox 2.x. Firefox was the first browser to implement "Shrink to fit" functionality followed by IE7.

When we released Smart Web Printing in 2006, IE6 had the largest market share. Hence we introduced our product with fixes to the two main printing problems with IE6 (right edge clipping and useless pages with few lines of text). Later, we provided additional functionality to select/clip/collect content from multiple web pages and this functionality works across all browsers we support (IE 6/7, Firefox 2.x). I can do a quick follow up phone call and clarify if it helps.

Thanks again for tracking on Smart Web Printing.


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