Google today announced it is bringing its Cloud Print project to Windows. The company has launched both a driver and a service, both of which are available for download now from Google Tools.
For those who don’t know, Google Cloud Print connects Cloud Print-aware applications (across the Web, desktop, and mobile) to any printer. It integrates with the mobile versions of Gmail and Google Docs, and is also listed as a printer option in the Print Preview page of Chrome.
Yet today’s release goes further for Windows users, as the new Google Cloud Printer driver makes it possible to print to any of your cloud printers from Windows applications. Chrome is no longer required:
The Google Cloud Print Service meanwhile is actually a Windows service. That means administrators can install it and connect existing printers to Google Cloud Print in their businesses, organizations, and schools.
If you’re wondering why Google only rolled out this driver and service today, let us try to explain. On the one hand, we’re not surprised that Chrome got the feature first: after all, many people spend most of their time in the browser, and thus often print from it too.
On the other hand, there are still many, many people and especially businesses that rely on Windows and want to print from applications on the desktop platform. Keeping that in mind, we’re just surprised it took Google this long to roll this out.
Windows aside, Google has made one other notable change to Cloud Print: you can now easily share a printer with others by simply publishing a link. You’ll notice the interface is very familiar to sharing on Google Docs:
Google also mentioned its Cloud Print app for Android today, but that isn’t strictly new. Google Play shows it was last updated over a month ago.