Hot off the presses: Microsoft introduces Universal Printing in Longhorn Beta3. This feature, which will be called Easy Print, enables applications to seamlessly access both local and remote printers. A single Terminal Server printers driver will support all types of printers connected to the local device. Rather than using EMF or PDF like the existing Universal Printing solutions, Easy Print utilizes XPS (XML Paper Specification). The way it works is that an XPS print driver running on the Terminal Server will spool the printer data down to the client over a Virtual Channel. On the client-side an Easy Print plugin intercepts this traffic and prints it out, even if the local printer does not have an XPS driver. Here are a few feature highlights:
I think that it is really cool that Microsoft is adding such a substantial Terminal Server feature to Longhorn at this stage of the game. Watch this space for more cool info coming out at BriForum.