Earlier this year, we reported on Microsoft’s Universal Print, a service that aims to lift the burden from organizations by managing print servers. The service is currently in preview but Microsoft’s plans for a wider release are coming together, with Q4 2020 a likely release window.
Microsoft has scheduled a public preview for launch in Q3 2020 and “general availability” should arrive in the final three months of the year. This was a timeline provides by Rani Abdellatif, a program manager on the Universal Print team.
Universal Print works through cloud servers underpinned by Microsoft Azure. It is designed to remove the complexity of organizations handling their own print servers. IT admins can tap into Universal Print to deploy print tools through Windows Server in Microsoft 365.
This is an important time release tool for IT departments. No longer will they need to manage print servers, update drivers, and other network obstacles. Microsoft says Universal Print allows organizations to register individual printers it deploys and let Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure do all the hard work.
While all resources will be handled in the cloud, on-premises users will still be able to access printers in much the same way they do now. Reflecting its enterprise nature, Universal Print is currently in preview on Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Business, and Education subscriptions.
Of course, whenever on-premises services move into the cloud, some organizations will have security concerns. In a recent Q&A, Microsoft confirmed all information handled by Universal Print is under its data management guidelines. Microsoft classes all registered printers as Azure AD objects, and are backed by an X.509 certificate.
At Build 2020 last week, Microsoft held a whole session dedicated to Universal Print. You can check out the virtual event here.