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Microsoft universal driver: Solution for your print infrastructure?

2 min reading

Although separations can sometimes be painful, we are always happy when a company asks to show print servers the door. Which is what we do with our DIRECT solution by PrinterLogic.

Now that Redmond's giant is starting to give up print servers, it's time to take a closer look at this option and consider a few important points.

Does doing so meet the organisational needs of modern companies?

How does it differ from a truly specialised solution?

Does it improve the availability of the environment ?

Is it completely independent of platforms and OS ?


Dependence on the Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

Universal print requires full engagement with the Microsoft 365 Cloud platform. Your customers also need to be using Windows 10 Enterprise, and you need Azure AD. That’s a lot of boxes to tick from the outset.

Leading companies can meet these criteria now. However, it also means that they are tied to this ecosystem for the near future. In a modern working environment where flexibility is the rule, this is not necessarily ideal.


Printer availability limited by WAN.

The Achilles heel of many Cloud printing solutions is the WAN. If there is no internet connection, computers and printers can no longer speak to the Cloud. And if that happens, no one can print. Universal print falls into the same trap.

Indeed, answers to FAQ even make it clear that this solution is not ideal if availability requirements are significant…


Print job data does not stay local.

Availability is not the only disadvantage linked to WAN. Another obvious problem is that data have to cross the WAN. This means that every print job leaves your local network to be queued on a Microsoft 365 server.

In addition to posing a degree of risk, this can seriously slow printing down. It forces the print to compete for bandwidth. The consequence of traffic jams on your WAN.


Very limited customisation…

For the time being, universal print is in the preview stage. As a result, many important features such as pull printing and mobile printing are missing.


And universality, that’s very selective…

The universal driver project is very recent, so the promise of simplified driver management remains just that – a promise. Currently, only a handful of Canon printers have the status "Universal print ready”; support for other brands and models has yet to be implemented.


As you can see, although we are delighted to see Microsoft moving beyond the print server stage, the solution chosen brings with it many weaknesses from the past.


If you want a proven solution, one such as DIRECT should be at the top of your list.

Why? Because your printing solution must allow you to create new possibilities without tying you to an ecosystem, or making you shrink...