Consumer preview versions of Microsoft Windows 8 are now available. We can all get a glimse of what to expect in the latest version of the operating system giant. Most of our interested will be focused on it's level of integration with existing devices, in particular printers.
Upgrading to the latest version may prompt consumers to also upgrade their printer hardware, and because it could be several months before new driver software becomes available for all models; when it does, what type of compatibility problems will be encountered? Hardware may be rendered unusable until solutions are found? 'No compatible driver for my printer under Windows 8' errors could be common-place.
Fortunately Microsoft have re-designed the printer driver model 'version 4 v4' so that when Windows 8 detects a new device the Microsoft auto search feature automatically searches for the best driver and downloads it from the Windows Metadata Information Store (WMIS). There is also a manual search option to be found under Control Panel > Devices and Printers for you to select 'Advanced Printer Setup' which allows you to find a local or network printer manually . Unfortunately even if you do find the correct printer driver you may suffer from operational problems. Jobs may be frozen in a print queue for example and require a system re-boot. These sort of problems are to be expected as this is only a Beta version of the operating system. The full commercial version is not due to be released until September / October 2012.
With the vastly increased ownership of tablet and mobile smartphones, wireless connectivity is becoming a real must, and no longer a bonus feature. Windows 8 offers far greater integration with mobile, touchscreen devices, and metro style apps via v3 and v4 printer driver model, and printer manufacturers are using these new features and benefits to promote and sell their products. Important factors that are prompting consumers to upgrade their printer hardware this year!
I must be getting too old and stuck in my ways to welcome or accept change because I am still using Windows XP! I have resisted the temptation to adopt Vista or Windows 7 on my own PC's and Laptop. XP works, and works well on a daily basis. I cannot see the point in upgrading to a differenent environment; a different planet almost. However if I were twenty years younger no doubt I would exhibit increased enthusiasm that would influence an upgrade ot two; and then maybe encounter simillar problems to that of braver computer users.
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