Microsoft adds universal printing capabilities to Windows 10
Microsoft said Wednesday that some Universal Printing features that were available to Windows 11 users are now also available to some Windows 10 users.
Specifically, Universal Printing features are available for Windows 10 version 21H2 or higher (build 19044.1806). They include the ability to display a PIN (personal identification number) login dialog when users attempt to perform a print job. Some printer manufacturers, such as “Epson and Sharp,” support PIN codes with Universal Print-enabled printer models, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has also added the ability to use its Microsoft Endpoint Manager solution to configure universal printing settings, such as indicating which printers are available to specific end users. Microsoft previously announced in June that this Microsoft Endpoint Manager feature for universal print settings would be available for Windows 11 devices, starting in June 2022. It also suggested at the time that such support would also arrive. for Windows 10 machines.
Windows 10 devices can now use Print Support apps, which are Universal Windows Platform apps typically built by Microsoft partners. Printing support apps are distributed through the Microsoft Store and add support for various printer customizations.
Other benefits of Universal Print for Windows 10 users include “print finishing options such as stapling, hole-punching, and more.” Windows 10 users get “native” support for PDF, PWG-Raster and PCLm printers. Microsoft is also claiming more consistent support in Windows 10 for “Mopria industry standard IPP printing 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 functionality a bit earlier than Windows 10. Microsoft released Universal Print in March last year with plans to bring it to both Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2.
Universal Print, in its early days, looked promising. It has been said to relieve IT pros of setting up print servers and managing print drivers, with all of these actions handled in the cloud. End users can print from anywhere. However, Microsoft’s Universal Print program requires IT pros to monitor the number of print jobs that run each month. Organizations must purchase add-on packs if they exceed a monthly quota. If organizations don’t pay for the add-on packs in such cases, they can’t print, so it’s up to IT professionals to keep a watchful eye.
Microsoft also offers Universal Print at no additional cost, typically for organizations with Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions or E3/E5 subscriptions to Windows Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise editions.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 group.