Print management – boring but necessary – and much better in Longhorn
I find it difficult to get excited by print management, however its an essential task. I am much more interested in Metro which will have a direct impact on the user experience. That said Longhorn definately looks like it improves on print management in a way that will allow service providers with a way to reduce costs and be more pro-active. In CSC we are just about to launch a manged print service, which will provide many of the same advantages, but with longhorn its built in and will over time work on all printers. Here is a summary of the capabilities, with more in the attachment.
Print Management is a snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that enables you to install, view, and manage all of the printers in your organization from any computer running Windows Server 2003 R2 and the “Longhorn” versions of Windows operating systems. Print Management provides up-to-the-minute details about the status of printers and print servers on the network. You can use Print Management to install printer connections to a group of client computers simultaneously. Print Management can help you find printers that have an error condition by using filters. It can also send e-mail notifications or run scripts when a printer or print server needs attention. On printer models that provide a Web page, Print Management has access to more data, such as toner and paper levels, which you can manage from remote locations, if needed.
Print Management saves the print administrator a significant amount of time installing printers on client computers, and managing and monitoring printers. Tasks that can require up to 10 steps on individual computers now can be accomplished in 2 or 3 steps on multiple computers simultaneously and remotely.
By using Print Management with Group Policy, you can automatically make printer connections available to users and computers in your organization. In addition, Print Management can automatically search for and install network printers on the local subnet of your local print servers.