Google Cloud Print arriving shortly to an inbox near youJanuary 24, 2011: 2:14 PM ET
Print from any web-enabled device including your smartphone.
As promised, Google (GOOG) is starting to roll out its Cloud Print services to its Gmail clients who want to print an email, document or PDF file to their printers through the internet. The process is pretty straight forward on the client side, (which incidentally includes any device that can read Gmail). It gets much more complicated on the printer side.
First, you'll need to have a PC running Windows (oh the irony!). You'll need to install a special beta version of the Chrome Browser for Windows, which includes some printing proxy software. That may not please your IT guy if you are at work.
Macs and Linux will be supported in the future but at the moment, it works on PCs only.
Once you've gone though the setup procedure, printing from emails becomes pretty straight forward. You simply click on the print link next to a document or pull a drop down menu option. Google routes that print document to your PC running the Chrome browser through the Internet.
Of course, this is rudimentary printing, you aren't going to be able to do Tabloid magazine layouts, at least not for the foreseeable future.
Google promised some printer vendors would have Google's Cloud print native in their earlier blog post on the matter. As of now, none have materialized. However, during this HP(HPQ) presentation (31:37) you can see that they are getting ready for Google's Cloud Print.
If Google expects companies to adopt the ChromeOS, which will use Cloud Print for printing, they will need to get some printer vendors on board and shipping products.