Microsoft’s New Cloud Printing Service Moves Closer to Release
Early last year, we first caught wind that Microsoft was working on a new cloud-based printing feature. The idea is simple, bring printing into the modern age with a cloud-based printing solution.
Anyone who has spent more than five minutes trying to configure a network printer knows the frustration when things don’t go according to plan. Microsoft is looking to make this process easier with a new service coming to Microsoft 365.
Now in private preview, Universal Print, spotted by Walking Cat, is a Microsoft 365 cloud-based print infrastructure that will make it easier to deploy secure print experiences for Enterprise and Education customers. To be able to use the feature, you will need an Azure Active Directory tenant and Windows 10 1903 or later; Microsoft says that the service does not require Windows Server.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Based on the prompt to register for the preview, it looks like this may be a feature of Microsoft 365 and that the preview will launch in the next couple of weeks. That being said, this was not publicly announced and timelines can and will likely shift.
The service will allow the print administrator to register their printers with Azure Active Directory and then the admin can manage the service from a central location; you will not need to deploy a print server. Once registered, a user can then discover printers using their Azure Active Directory credentials that are shared with their account.
While this may not be a groundbreaking new feature for Microsoft and its customers, it is one that will help out with one of the most frustrating parts of setting up a user; printing. Hopefully, this feature will be announced in the near future but for now, we need to wait a little bit longer.