Google is talking about one of the “real work” issues associated with Cloud Computing and that’s printing. You can work all day using Cloud software but if you need hard copy you have to print those documents somewhere, somehow. Of course with with the advent of more mobile devices that allow you to create and view content, being able to print from those devices is becoming a key issue as well.
Google is laying out how it sees this working with its Chrome OS in the future. Emphasis on in the future.
The project is called Google Cloud Print and the goal is to be able to print to any printer anywhere in the world from whatever device you’ve got your hands on. Using API’s an application (native or cloud based) the software will talk to Cloud Print, tell it what you want and where you want it and you’ll have hard copy. There won’t be any printer drivers necessary.
That said, Google is also working on a solution for existing or legacy printers that would come in the from of software (included with Chrome) that is installed on the computer a printer is attached to. At the moment they are working on the Windows version with versions for Mac and Linux coming down the road. Google is also looking to potentially work with router manufacturers to possibly have that software installed on those devices as well.
All of this depends on the industry supporting this with new printers, and I’m guessing they probably will.