Microsoft Add Windows 10 Universal Print Capabilities
Microsoft on Wednesday declared that some Universal Print capabilities that have been available to Windows 11 users are now also available for certain Windows 10 users.
Specifically, the Universal Print capabilities are available for Windows 10 version 21H2 or greater (build 19044.1806). They include the ability to show a PIN (personal identification number) dialog box sign-in when users attempt to run a print job. Some printer makers, such as "Epson and Sharp," support PINs with Universal Print-ready printer models, Microsoft indicated.
Microsoft also added the ability to use its Microsoft Endpoint Manager solution to configure Universal Print settings, such as indicating which printers are available for specific end users. Microsoft had previously announced back in June that this Microsoft Endpoint Manager capability for Universal Print settings would be available for Windows 11 devices, starting in June 2022. It also had suggested back then that such support would arrive for Windows 10 machines as well.
Windows 10 devices can now use Print Support Applications, which are Universal Windows Platform applications typically built by Microsoft's partners. Print Support Apps are distributed via the Microsoft Store and add support for various printer customizations.
Other Universal Print perks for Windows 10 users include "print finishing options such as stapling, hole punch and others." Windows 10 users are getting "native" support for PDF, PWG-Raster and PCLm printers. Microsoft also is claiming more consistent support in Windows 10 for "Mopria industry standard IPP printer capabilities." Mopria is a set of universal print driver standards advocated by the Mopria Alliance.
Microsoft's announcement admitted that Windows 11 got Universal Print features a bit earlier than Windows 10. Microsoft had commercially released Universal Print back in March of last year with the intention of bringing it to both Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2.
Universal Print, in its early stages, had sounded promising. It was said to relieve IT pros from having to set up print servers and manage print drivers, with all of those actions handled in the cloud. End users could print from anywhere. However, Microsoft's Universal Print scheme burdens IT pros with overseeing how many print jobs get executed each month. Organizations have to buy add-on packs if they exceed a monthly quota. If organizations don't pay for the add-on packs in such cases, then they can't print, so it's up to IT pros to keep a watchful eye.
Microsoft otherwise offers the Universal Print service at no extra cost, typically for organizations having Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions, or E3/E5 subscriptions to Window Enterprise editions or Microsoft 365 Enterprise.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.