– TOKYO, Japan, March 31, 2011 – Seiko Epson Corporation ("Epson", TSE: 6724) and AVASYS Corporation ("AVASYS"), today unveiled plans for a service that will enable the automatic downloading of printer drivers by simply connecting an Epson inkjet printer to a personal computer running the Linux*1 operating system ("Linux PC"), an industry first*2 for a printer maker. The companies, both based in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, announced that the service is planned to start at the end of April 2011, enabling automatic downloads of printer drivers for a total of 268 Epson inkjet printer models launched since 2005.
Currently, in order to use Epson printers on Linux PCs, it is necessary to manually download the appropriate driver from the AVASYS website. In order to improve the user experience for Epson printer owners using the Linux OS, Epson and AVASYS collaborated with the Linux Foundation*3 to make the automatic printer driver download service possible. As a result, the automatic download function has been included in the Linux distribution*4 "Ubuntu*5 11.04", due to be released at the end of April 2011. For this distribution, users will be able to automatically download the driver just by connecting the printer, enabling much simpler set up.
For this initiative, Epson leveraged its printer driver development capabilities to create a driver that complies with the standard Linux specification "LSB" (Linux Standard Base)*6, while AVASYS, in collaboration with the Linux Foundation and Ubuntu, drew on its expertise with Linux related technology to develop a workable solution for automatic Linux printer driver downloads from the Open Printing Database*7, enabling the inclusion of this function in "Ubuntu 11.04"
Ikuaki Kitabayashi, general manager of inkjet products planning and design at Epson, stated, "We continually strive to make printers easier to use, so we are very pleased to be able to provide this convenient automatic printer driver download service to Linux users."
Tadato Okamura, general manager, Engineering Service Business Division at AVASYS added, "We are proud to have contributed to improving the Linux user experience. AVASYS will, by acting as an intermediary between community and hardware vendors, continue its efforts to make the Linux environment even better and more user-friendly."
Till Kamppeter, leader of the OpenPrinting project, commented, "I am proud that the automatic driver download feature can start to benefit users' lives with the new 11.04 release of Ubuntu and the inkjet printer drivers from Epson and AVASYS. This will be the first time that a Linux system downloads distribution-independent driver packages triggered simply by connecting the appropriate device. This makes printer setup and printing "just work", and faster and easier than on most other operating systems. I hope this will be a sign for other distributions and hardware manufacturers, too, especially also for other types of hardware, not only printers. This way Linux can become one of the easiest to use operating systems."
Epson and AVASYS will continue to work together to realize even more convenient and reliable printing operations for the Linux OS.
Automatic download service mechanism
*1 A free computer operating system
*2 Epson research, as of March 31, 2011
*3 A non-profit organization that provides resources and services to the open source community for the purpose of promoting and standardizing the Linux OS
*4 A distribution containing the OS, applications and device drivers suitable for general use.
*5 A popular Linux distribution
*6 A standard designed to improve compatibility between different Linux distributions
*7 The world's largest Linux printer driver database. http://www.openprinting.org/
This article was originally posted on Bertl.