My wife bought a new HP Deskjet F2430 printer on black Friday this year. I was a little pissed, thinking “Why did you buy this? We already have a printer.” She explained that it cost less to purchase the new printer + scanner + copier + fax than it did to replace the ink cartridges in our 3-year old printer. I gave the old printer to the kids and the new printer is in my office.
I don’t like installing printers or other hardware. It’s not because it is so time-consuming (I still don’t get why it takes 5 minutes or longer to install a print driver), but because I am always guaranteed to spend 20 minutes after the installation is over removing programs that I know I will never need, like custom photo management stuff and online printing programs specific to a service, like what used to be offered with Kodak.
That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see the following dialog when I installed my HP printer.
First, I have a choice if I want to install additional software, and the choice is plainly obvious. I can’t tell you how many times I have to go back and uninstall the Google toolbar because some application decided to install it for me (and if you have the Google toolbar installed…read this then uninstall Google and switch to Bing now. I’ll wait right here.) Second, there is no pre-selected default choice here, so if I am flying through the dialogs (rapidly pressing Next, Next, Next and accepting the defaults), I won’t inadvertently install software that I never meant to install. Third, I really, really like that they leverage the Windows Live Photo Gallery and provide add-ons instead of building a completely new program. It just makes sense, especially since the Windows Live Photo Gallery is a free app that is actively supported by Microsoft and has a broad user base.
I use Windows Live Messenger often, and am typing this blog post in Windows Live Writer, but I haven’t used the Windows Live Photo Gallery until now. I have pictures scattered around my various external USB drives and computer hard drives and SD cards and USB memory sticks that I am going to give it a try.
Good job, HP.
Update – I should have completed the installation process before praising HP. They installed the Yahoo toolbar for me with instructions on how to uninstall it. Sigh…