If you have a network and have tried to interface a Windows 7 machine with your XP and VISTA machines, you have probably had a problem. Windows 7 does not play nicely with others. I put my printer on my new Windows 7 machine because it is now my main machine and it is on almost constantly. My XP machines and VISTA machines would not print to the printer. They would see it and then ignore it. I tried the printer on an XP machine and a VISTA machine and both would see each other and print to each other but the Windows 7 machine just ignored where ever I put the printer regardless of where it was physically connected.
I considered trying the printer Virtual PC but since I am a home user and I only have Windows 7 Home Premium and not Windows 7 Professional, Microsoft won’t allow me to install virtual PC. Of course all of their corporate clients would have gone stark raving bonkers if they hadn’t come up with a way to run all their XP compatible expensive software on their new “improved” Windows 7. That means that those of us not important enough for Microsoft to notice are stuck trying to figure out how to get Windows 7 to print with our other MICROSOFT operating system computers. Microsoft doesn’t find interoperability between their myriad operating systems important in spite of the fact that all three operating systems come from the very same creator and thusly should easily communicate.
After reading tons of online rants about this problem I realized a software solution was unlikely. Most of the people upset don’t seem to be corporate types so the chances of Microsoft releasing Virtual PC for their home Win7 or writing a patch to make the problem go away seems remote at best.
Ahh Ha! There are more ways to skin the Microsoft cat than software. Iogear has a 2-port USB 2.0 Printer Auto Sharing Switch that solves the miserable Windows 7 vs. XP vs. VISTA print problem. The switch installed seamlessly and worked as advertised. I have it set up to share the printer between one XP machine and my Windows 7 machine. You click print and after a nearly negligible pause, you print. My VISTA machine and my other XP machines see the printer as being on the XP machine and they print as well. This solution to an annoying lack of concern, Microsoft problem costs a whopping $16.99 at AMAZON. The Model# is GUB211. The packaging does not claim to work with Windows 7 but the web site states it works and it DOES. In addition the switch includes the two USB cables that you need to set up the switch. Imagine that, a company that actually includes what you need to set up their product. WAY TO GO IO Gear!
A problem caused by Microsoft indifference, that shouldn’t have existed in the first place is now solved.
I will be posting on software that I have found that no longer works under Windows 7. On a positive note, Windows Easy Transfer included with Windows 7, moved data from my old system to my new quite nicely. So Windows 7 isn’t a total bust, so far just an annoying inconvenience.
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