The nightmarish problem of installing a printer

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Sep 21 17:47:32 UTC 2010

On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 19:36:00 +0200, "C. P. Ghost" <cpghost at> wrote:
> > At the moment there was a program (or any other kind of
> > facility) that makes Winprinters accessible by *ANY* OS (not
> > only FreeBSD, but maybe all BSDs and Linusi and Solaris and
> > who knows what else), MICROS~1 would start violently screaming
> > as someone is eating from their cake. Keep in mind that Winprinters
> > are an important target platform for home users who PAY for
> > "Windows" and PAY for a "compatible" printer. They pay once
> > every two years or so. MICROS~1 and the printer manufacturers
> > can't stand it if one uses their products too long, as long-term
> > use does imply NO FURTHER SALES. And now imagine that a user
> > can fully use all features of a formerly-Winprinter all-in-one
> > ink pee copier scanner fax machine - where would be his need to
> > buy a "Windows" to do that as he can now use FreeBSD for free?
> As far as I understand this, Microsoft doesn't manufacture those
> winprinters, so why would they screem if those printers were able
> to run on other platform too?

Very simple: Whenever you are using FreeBSD (or any other operating
system that is not "Windows"), you are NOT using "Windows".

MICROS~1's monopoly is based upon three pillars: Mind share, usage
share, and in conclusion, market share. That again is what matters
to printer manufacturers, as they are told the "secret keys" about
how to make their printer work on "Windows".

> You can even see it the other way: for every winprinter manufactured
> (or, more precisely, for every windriver sold), Microsoft may get a
> fixed share due to patent royalties from the manufacturer. So, suppose
> a manufacturer sells more of his winprinters to BSD/Linux/Solaris/...
> folks because we had this shim, it would translate to more patent
> royalties to Microsoft too.

That's not logical as the package, the shiny box on the shelf that
the customer wants, already contains a CD (or today, a DVD) with
drivers for "Windows", as this is the PC, and there's nothing else.
Users of non-"Windows" operating systems are a niche market that
does not persist in the scope of manufacturers. They are happy
selling more and more cheap units (than fewer more expensive units).
For them and for MICROS~1 it's a win-win situation, as the customer
always pays.

> So it is in Microsoft's interest not only NOT
> to kick and scream, but actually to encourage those winprinters
> by publishing the needed interfaces. It can only increase sales, and
> they will get more kickbacks from those additional sales.

Insignificant amounts, does not pay. The MICROS~1 concept of software
ecosystems does not tolerate anything "different". Keep in mind the
three pillars mentioned before - they would be in danger.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list