Xerox has unveiled a suite of tools to help mobile workers print documents, including one that lets smartphone users print by emailing the file to a secure server and retrieving it from a network-connected Xerox printer.
The tools consist of the Mobile Express and Global Print Drivers for various operating systems, available now as free downloads, while the Xerox Mobile Print Solution will be available for customer trials in the fourth quarter of this year, with general availability expected in early 2011.
"No two mobile workers are the same, from the executive reviewing a presentation on his phone en route to a staff meeting, to the Paris-based employee working at the New York headquarters, but all need an easy and secure way to print," said Xerox UK marketing manager Chris Aked.
Xerox is targeting smartphone users with the Mobile Print Solution, but it will actually allow users to print from any device that can send and receive email, without having to download further drivers or applications.
This includes BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices, and allows users to print Microsoft Office documents, PDFs and even image files.
Users simply email the document they want to print to a secure server, and receive a confirmation code in response. This code enables them to retrieve and print the document at any Xerox multi-function printer attached to their corporate network.
The drawbacks of this approach are obvious, in that mobile workers cannot use it to print when they are away from the office. However, it reduces the risk of leaving sensitive documents in the printer output tray, according to Xerox.
Customers will need to deploy the Mobile Print Solution to a Windows server on their network. Licensing details have yet to be finalised, but are expected to be about €1,500 (£1,285) for the application and €200 (£170) per device, Xerox said.
Xerox Mobile Express is a universal print driver for Windows that will output to virtually any PostScript device. It can now automatically tell roaming workers which printers are available in their current location, making printing easier.
The Mobile Express driver supports PCs running Windows 7, XP SP2 and Vista, plus Windows Server 2003 and 2008.
Meanwhile, the Xerox Global Print Driver is intended to offer even wider support, covering most printers compatible with PostScript and HP's PCL standard, although functionality will vary depending on device.
However, even in the driver's basic mode, it can detect whether the target printer is colour or mono and whether it supports two-sided printing, Xerox said.
The Global Print Driver supports Windows PCs and servers, plus Novell Netware and Citrix environments.
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