There have been many improvements in Windows 7 and Server 2008R2 in the Documents, Printing, and Scanning space. These include great performance, stability, security, and reliability enhancements and entirely new feature additions to ease printing and scanning as well as print and scan management.
Printers now are part of the Device Stage experience in Windows that comes with a great new UI where users can see their devices, easily change settings, view status, order new supplies and so much more. Printing is now location aware which makes printing at home, at the office or any other network seamless and easy. Homegroup printing make sharing printers over your Homegroup as easy as connecting it to one of your Homegroup machines. Print Management Console (PMC) in Windows 7 gives administrators greater flexibility and ease in managing print servers by providing better support for driver management including a powerful All Drivers view with a single view of all print drivers across the administered print systems.
Scanning in enterprise gets a whole new dimension with Distributed Scan Management that enables authenticated access to scanners and ability to send scanned documents to emails, file shares and SharePoint for enterprise users. IT Admins ,in turn, can easily administer access to scanners as well as monitor scanner and scan job status. There is also better support for device initiated scanning.
Windows 7 comes with a brand new XPS viewer with significant enhancements in viewing and searching XPS content. XPS documents are better integrated in Windows with previews available from Explorer and Outlook. The viewer comes built in with Rights Management and Digital Signatures to restrict access and digitally sign XPS documents.
A lot has changed deeper under the hood as well. Print drivers can now run isolated from the print infrastructure making the print subsystem more stable. Rendering enhancements enable rendering of XPS content with improved fidelity and performance and enable printing from XPS Applications to GDI Printers. Server Administrators can now delegate print administration tasks to "print administrators" enabling greater security and cost savings for small businesses. Printer Backup and Restore tool now comes with the ability to customize the restoration of a print server. There is a also a new set of native APIs to create, edit, view, save and print XPS files and another new set of native APIs for supporting Open Packaging Convention based file formats including XPS files, Word files, Excel files, PowerPoint files, and more.
--Khurram Zia & Jon Kay