HP and Apple working on automated printer driver delivery in Leopard

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In a move that's sure to be welcomed by customers of both parties, HP is reported to be working with Apple to allow users of Mac OS X Leopard to instantly receive the the latest versions of HP's printer drivers over Leopard's built-in Software Update mechanism.

In seeding Leopard build 9A559 to its developer community last week, Apple listed only two known issues with the software, one of which instructed testers with HP printers connected to their system to perform a custom install of the next-gen operating system and de-select the HP printer drivers in the installer.

"The HP printer drivers will be delivered post-install via Software Update," the company told testers.

Although listed in Leopard's developer documentation as a 'known issue', the recommendation to use Apple’s software update process to install the drivers was actually a test scenario, not a driver problem or bug issue, reports MacNN.

"HP has a large market share with Apple customers and is very pleased that Apple has chosen HP drivers and software to test with the latest Leopard developer seed and software update process," a representative for HP told the Mac news publication. "Please note that the HP driver set in the latest Leopard seed and from the software update process is the exact same HP software code and driver bundle, no difference, and should work great with this latest Leopard seed."

In speaking to MacNN, the HP rep went on to say that if there are no existing HP printer queues or HP printers connected to the Mac via USB, then Leopard's version of Software Update will not download or add any HP printer drivers.