Google is one of the pre-eminent technology companies in the world. Its innovative search technologies and digital products connect millions of people around the world with information every day. The company has expanded from its roots as the top-ranked search engine into mobile, media, operating systems and more.
One of Google’s cloud products is the Google Cloud Print, a technology that facilitates printing from any web-connected device to any printer available to a user. Any type of application, on any web-connected device, can use Google Cloud Print.
Google faced a challenge with this new service. A centralized cloud printing solution like Google Cloud Print needs to have the flexibility to accommodate the thousands of printers in the world with their dizzying variety of drivers and capabilities. While using CUPS (Complete Unix Printing System), the Google team recognized one key missing functionality – CUPS can print a raster image, but lacks the capability of converting the most prevalent rendering format, PDF, into raster images for printing.
Google needed an intermediary interpreter solution that could address this functional gap, a versatile, proven solution that could convert PDF, PostScript and other file formats into raster images for printing via their Cloud Printing Server.
The Google team turned to Artifex for a solution. Working with the Artifex team, Google was able to incorporate Ghostscript as its intermediary interpreter and rendering engine for handling PDF workflows, giving Google Cloud Printing the ability to convert PDF files into the raster images CUPS requires for printing.
Less than one year into deployment millions of documents have been printed with the help of Ghostscript. The software has performed so well that Google has since licensed Artifex Ghostscript as a rendering engine for inclusion in Chrome OS to handle this same PDF-to-raster image conversion. As a result, Ghostscript will soon be a key printing component in the millions of Chrome Books manufactured by Google OEM partners.