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Many HP, Dell Printers Incompatible with Windows RT

By - Source: TechWorld | B 24 comments

Many HP and Dell printers aren't compatible with Windows RT.

Over the summer, Microsoft said that many older printers will not work with Windows 8 and Windows RT. That's because the company decided to change the printing architecture to reduce system overhead and simplify the overall printing process. This was a necessary move given that ARM-based Windows RT tablets will feature 32-bit SoCs and a memory ceiling of 4 GB.

"We really wanted to ensure that we didn’t negatively impact ARM systems by running unnecessary services, and we wanted to reduce system resource usage, while still providing support for as many devices as possible," wrote Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division.

On that note, TechWorld reports that both HP and Dell have published their compatibility lists of printers and multifunction devices for Windows 8 and Windows RT. On the HP side, out of 200 devices, a total of 83 are not compatible with Windows RT, and an additional 83 only offer "limited support". However the majority of devices are compatible with Windows 8 – so far HP hasn't released a compatibility list for inkjet printers.

As for Dell, this compatibility list of 110 inkjet and laser printers shows that only 32 support Windows RT. Even more, only two inkjet printers support the ARM-based Windows whereas the OS seems to be more compatible with monochrome and color laser printers. Naturally all printers compatible with Windows RT also play nice with Windows 8.

Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64, told TechWorld that driver incompatibility with RT will likely extend beyond printers and into the realm of cameras, scanners and more. Unfortunately, manufacturers will likely not build new compatible drivers for old devices, as resources are typically dumped into current products. Companies would rather see consumers purchase new Windows 8-compatible equipment rather than hang onto an old, outdated printer.

Brookwood also pointed out that unlike other tablet OS developers, Microsoft is making an effort to provide a higher level of printer compatibility in Windows RT which in turn could make a huge difference in the ARM-based tablet market. "Most people who have been buying tablets to date, including Android and iOS tablets, they hardly ever print because of limits [on drivers]," Brookwood said.

 

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  • 14 Hide
    diddo , October 22, 2012 1:56 PM
    "Unfortunately, manufacturers will likely not build new compatible drivers for old devices, as resources are typically dumped into current products."
    Unfortunately for producers, the same is true for buyers: they prefer allocate their budget buying something really useful for their business rather than replacing perfectly working equipment.
  • 10 Hide
    amdfangirl , October 22, 2012 1:57 PM
    Probably will enrage consumers when they realise that "Windows compatible" isn't the same as "Windows RT compatible" and Microsoft will cop the blame.

    That and people like not having to buy printers which seem to find new ways of justifying selling less ink/$ to you.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    diddo , October 22, 2012 1:56 PM
    "Unfortunately, manufacturers will likely not build new compatible drivers for old devices, as resources are typically dumped into current products."
    Unfortunately for producers, the same is true for buyers: they prefer allocate their budget buying something really useful for their business rather than replacing perfectly working equipment.
  • 10 Hide
    amdfangirl , October 22, 2012 1:57 PM
    Probably will enrage consumers when they realise that "Windows compatible" isn't the same as "Windows RT compatible" and Microsoft will cop the blame.

    That and people like not having to buy printers which seem to find new ways of justifying selling less ink/$ to you.
  • 2 Hide
    zubai , October 22, 2012 2:06 PM
    Meh.. I use canon.
  • 2 Hide
    cscott_it , October 22, 2012 2:20 PM
    diddo"Unfortunately, manufacturers will likely not build new compatible drivers for old devices, as resources are typically dumped into current products."Unfortunately for producers, the same is true for buyers: they prefer allocate their budget buying something really useful for their business rather than replacing perfectly working equipment.


    Ah yes - I've heard those words so many times. Why is your work fleet mostly comprised of Pentium III and a few Pentium IV workstations, minus execs - which have high end equipment? Because it works. Sure it's slow for that new CRM package your company just bought, but if it kind of runs on an underpowered XP workstation, that's good enough. Just keep cycling out those failing hard drives and memory. No sense in replacing perfectly working equipment =-p

    Though, to your point, I don't see a business buying RT compatible equipment for the sake of it. Though, if you could integrate Dynamics AX or if there is a Dynamics AX shop floor module, then RT would have a place in many businesses.
  • 8 Hide
    southernshark , October 22, 2012 2:21 PM
    Well at least they have a print function built into these tablets, which many tablets do not.

    I don't really see much of a market for the RT ARM based tablets anyway though. I predict quick and rapid domination by x86 tablets such as the Atom based tablets and the i5 tablets. Realistically the price point on Atom based tablets should quickly lower to the $400- $500 price range.
  • 3 Hide
    diddo , October 22, 2012 2:30 PM
    cscott_itAh yes - I've heard those words so many times. Why is your work fleet mostly comprised of Pentium III and a few Pentium IV workstations, minus execs - which have high end equipment?

    Gave thumbs up to your comment as it is a good point, but it is just the other side of the same coin (pun intended).
    Keeping what works means keeping what is good for your business.
    That is an entirely different beast that keeping an S/38 because it just did not blew up in the early '90s.
    And, it is an entirely different beast than buying any brand new thing - either an OS or a printer that does not mix well with the rest of your infrastructure - just because it is was shown in the latest advertisement.
    What keeps your business running properly should not be touched without a very very good reason, even in years when companies have moneys to throw out of the windows - that's not today.
  • 1 Hide
    computernerdforlife , October 22, 2012 2:37 PM
    What about Canon, Lexmark,... I work for Lexmark - this could cause me issues at my workplace.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 2:38 PM
    "However the majority of devices are compatible with Windows 8 – so far HP hasn't released a compatibility list for inkjet printers."

    So only 34 out of 200 HP devices and 32 out of 110 Dell devices are compatible but that = a majority? I'm confused.
  • 1 Hide
    ramcoza , October 22, 2012 2:45 PM
    I see no problem here. It's all about someone come up with a new driver for the unsupported devices. It won't be that hard to create one, as both windows 8 and windows RT share same kernel.
  • -1 Hide
    extremepcs , October 22, 2012 2:49 PM
    Yay! LaserJet 4100/4250's are good. Not that I'll be able to buy anything that doesn't have the "i" prefix...
  • 1 Hide
    Angrynerds , October 22, 2012 2:58 PM
    The company I recently started working for will be upgrading all their current computer systems. They're tired of having systems that are "good enough", they want systems that actually work and will provide less headaches for them. For my company "good enough" just doesn't cut it anymore, current systems are Core 2's running Windows XP, and the bare minimum of ram, they're going to be upgrading all their systems to Windows 7 along with modern hardware so we can actually do our jobs. They do have a Windows 8 machine as a test system that they're playing with, but this Win 8 machine could just be a tool so they can have more info on how to TS it. I do tech support for our customers so having modern equipment will make my job easier. The good thing is we don't support tablets/smart phones, we only support PC's, Laptops and Macs. Really though why would you need to print directly from a tablet you can transfer the files to a computer and print from that, and all tablets have that handy Sync feature.
  • -2 Hide
    bucknutty , October 22, 2012 2:59 PM
    So many consumers are going to get pissed and return thier new windows RT device when they get it home and learn that devices with RT are based on ARM and will not run any of thier existing windows software.

    MS really should have done a better job of telling the consumer that RT is not the same as windows and that x86 or x64 software will not work.

    I was trying to explain to my neighbor that Windows RT and Windows 8 are not the same but he said they looked the same to him and would not belive me. He plans to buy a windows tablet and install his day trader software on it so he can trade on the go. I tried to tell him he would have to go with an i3-i5 model but those cost twice as much as the arm model.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 3:19 PM
    business side, non issue - either these things are connecting to a citrix box or RDS system.

    Consumer side, kiss your fully functional HP Lasertjet 4200 goodbye, god I love that printer
  • 2 Hide
    frombehind , October 22, 2012 3:20 PM
    you should be able to get basic functionality by installing the offending device as an "HP Laserjet 4". I have done this on windows many times when the proper driver was out of reach, and just basic printing functionality was needed. Almost all the advanced print drivers today are based on the old HP LJ 4.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 4:33 PM
    Many HP printer drivers are incompatible with computer security software! Those HP printer drivers that utilize pre-compiled flash componentsthat can not be updated, and are constantly flagged by my security software. I have solved this by not buying HP printers. Maybe all printers should be forced to use a industry standard printer driver framework that is supplied and maintained by the writers of the computer operating system that comes with the computer! Or maybe the printer makers should be forced to move all their bloatware onto the printers themselves and only accept Postscript, or some other secure protocol to transfer information to and from the printer/scanner.
  • -2 Hide
    jn77 , October 22, 2012 5:18 PM
    I noticed as much as I love windows 7, the print driver support is really lacking all together. There are a number of HP Printers with limited or no support because the "general" printer driver is suppose to work. I actually liked the Adobe branded print drivers better than the HP because it had all the detailed Postscript lvl 3 options which the HP driver does not.

    I guess printers aren't going to exist just like the windows start bar has been taken away with windows RT/Windows 8. Personally still use my printers. Go figure.
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , October 22, 2012 5:51 PM
    My Canon imageCLASS 8180C works in Win 8, but I only tested for print and fax. Scanning hasn't been tried yet. However, it really wouldn't be a big deal for me to create an XP Mode, Hyper-V XP instance, or some other XP VM and scan that way if I really needed to. Win 8 (at least the PRO edition) comes with Hyper-V so you don't even need VMware to host a second O/S. However, XP Mode was free, while I suspect that a complete XP instance in Hyper-V on Win 8 won't be.

    I am less concerned with printing from a Win 8 RT tablet. That might be good for e.g. a shop floor, a shipping company, or something else where you need to be mobile and also print receipts, labels, etc., but any company large enough to be doing that can potentially invest in a printer upgrade - or in x86-based tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 22, 2012 5:59 PM
    Adobe branded printer drivers that can be updated by adobe when security flaws are found, fine, but HP does not update the printer drivers on its printers that have pre-compiled flash DLLs in them, I think that drivers should be moved into the printers themselves, including the bloatware. Printers manufacturers should be forced to move drivers and bloatware to their hardware and printers will have to do more of this work for tablets, dew to the low power/performence of mobile devices!
  • 1 Hide
    annymmo , October 22, 2012 6:15 PM
    They are getting closer to driver-less printing with the class driver stuff but seriously go the whole way!
    It's possible to have driver-less printing!
  • 0 Hide
    ikefu , October 22, 2012 6:54 PM
    Will still support substantially more printers than the iPad does.
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