Cloudprint, a development from the Hewlett-Packard Labs, will make it possible to store and share [previously spooled] documents from your mobile phone. At face value any form of mobile computing seems like a practical solution – but the hidden agenda is not a shade of green – more black, cyan, magenta and yellow.
Generally speaking the service will be useful. Users will first “print” their documents to online servers, which in turn will release a document code to the user’s mobile device. The code can then be used at any time, from any Internet-enabled location, to retrieve the documents – saved as PDF files.
Great! I can hear the crys from Friends of the Earth – it will encourage a paperless environment and will help to cut down on energy consumption by avoiding unnecessary printing. Or will it?
The hard-nosed corporate strategy is a little less friendlier than that. In reality…
it’s an extension of a broader HP strategy of indirectly creating a business that will foster the sale of Hewlett-Packard ink and supplies
Profits from its printing division, most of it from ink and supplies, rose 11 percent in its third quarter from a year earlier.
Hewlett are also planning a directory of publicly available printers – hooked in to Google Maps. And later this month will announce a partnership with a major retailer to offer a variety of Internet-connected printing services across the US.