Preparing for Mountain Lion
Is it time to start preparing for Apple’s Mountain Lion? Probably, or at least start thinking about how it may affect things in your organization. With an estimated release date in the summer of this year there is still plenty of time but it’s beneficial to stay updated on what new features this release will bring.
We have blogged previously about Lion and several issues it caused with various scanning technologies. To be more specific, users who typically scanned their documents via SMB (Server Message Block) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to their Mac were no longer able to do so with Lion in many cases. For many MFD’s that still only support SMB1 this most likely will not change in Mountain Lion as it appears Apple is sticking with their homegrown version, SMBX. Don’t get too excited about FTP coming back either since that protocol has gone the way of the dodo (which isn’t a bad thing). We recommend using your devices alternate features such as scan to email or WebDAV until new MFD software is developed to definitively support SMB2 for file transfer.
Printing appears to be changing slightly in Mountain Lion, or at least the user interface. Reports indicate that the print dialog will have a simplified interface with fewer buttons and much easier to use. Also integrated in will be a nifty scan interface for supported MFD’s. This will most likely utilize the network TWAIN technology for specific MFD’s and simplify the scanning process. Another piece of good news is that the CUPS engine won’t be changing, at least from what I see right now. This is the crucial back-end component which drives the end-user printing experience and previous versions of OSX were plagued with printing woes due to changes in CUPS. MFD manufacturers were left scrambling to produce new drivers and software to support these changes, which equated to downtime for users.
Overall, Mountain Lion looks like it could be a decent release giving end-users the iPad/iPhone feel they are looking for. At this point it does not appear that the new enhancements will drastically affect printing and scanning capabilities for users migrating from Lion. There are still many months before the final release however so be sure to check release notes prior to upgrading to ensure compatibility. Have more questions about how Mountain Lion will interface with your print fleet? Let us know.