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A friend is looking for a printer which can be plugged directly into a Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X (Windows 98 would be nice, too, but not holding my breath) machine and start working without the need for driver installations (basically, the printer is going to be situated in rented accommodation and any installation disks are bound to go missing).

He's basically trying to make it so that the folks in the homes can take a cable, plug it into their computer, their computer will recognize it, and go, making it as easy as possible for everybody involved.

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The rental properties do not necessarily have internet access, so the users need to be able to use the printers without any additional software apart from their base OS install. –  Richy B. Jul 23 '09 at 11:52

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Well, one less than optimal solution is to get something that's Postscript enabled and have instructions that can be provided for each OS on how to use the generic Postscript driver. Might be able to do the same (cheaper) with PCL5 printers if you can make OS X work right with them (I don't know, I only ever use Postscript from Mac).

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You must pick printers, which have drivers in Windows 2000. They are biggest chance, that they have drivers in next versions of Windows.

And it's hard, because these printers probably are not on market.

Or printer supported some universal drivers.

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Yes, but is it possible to get a list of all the printers supported by Windows 2000 and Mac OS X? I'm aware of the Windows Logo product list, but it doesn't actually say which Service Pack of which OS the support was first built in. –  Richy B. Jul 23 '09 at 11:51

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