In March this year, Microsoft officially announced Universal Print, a cloud-based print infrastructure that will enable a simple, rich and secure print experience for users and help reduce time and effort for IT.
Microsoft today announced the public preview of Universal Print from data centers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It will be first available for Microsoft 365 E5 and A5 tenants, followed by customers who have a Microsoft 365 E3 or A3 subscriptions, and then those who have Windows 10 E3, A3 and E5 only subscriptions. Finally, it will be available for Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Firstline F3 customers.
Universal Print offers the following for end users:
- Eliminates the need to install printer drivers because it is built into the Windows experience
- Helps you to find printers both near and outside of your current location
- Enables print from zero-trust networks via single sign-on (SSO) when connected to the internet and authenticated to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
For IT professionals, Universal Print offers the following:
- A print solution to unblock the move to the cloud and support print for Azure AD users.
- Managed printing in zero-trust networks.
- Eliminates the need to manage print servers or the need for complex hybrid print solutions.
- A centralized portal that enables robust management capabilities.
- Visibility and insights into your print with reporting.
- Print data stored in the same manner as other Microsoft Office data, in accordance with Microsoft’s data management guidelines.
- Printer deployment and default printer configuration on end-user devices using Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune).
Customers can use the Universal Print connector application to connect printers to Universal Print. You can download the Universal Print connector installer here. Several MFP OEMs including Konica Minolta, Brother, HP and others are currently working on MFPs with native Universal Print support.