Although the spool file reduction would more benefit vector graphics applications I've also got curious about the Windows Media image compression file format from reading the XPS spec. I wonder what the compression/quality factors are and if it will also become pitched as a gif/jpg replacement just like png.
I think you confuse two things:
One thing is the ability to print a document. This is something that PDF also has, not allowing printing. With XPS you can allow only certain people to print.
Second is the ability to send an encrypted job to the printer. The printer should then show a dialog prompting the user to authenticate. This is something that is currently implemented by many printer manufacturers, and is done in the printer driver.
My guess is that the first scenario is handled by the XPS viewer.
The second scenario should be handled by the printer, as with XPS encryption/authentication isn't a driver feature anymore.
My 2 cts
Good luck with your application. If I were you I would contact several printer manufacturers and ask if they could support your use case.
The printer would need a new interpreter for XPS.
However, the print path in Vista should also have optimized conversions to Postscript/PCL, probably in the GDI to EMF conversion area, so you should get better print-out. I wonder however if this will be a Vista-only feature for older drivers... (they are backporting the new print-path to XP/2003, but also these optimalisations?)
Vista would ship XPS drivers out of the box for printers that are going to be released/updated around the time of Vista release, but that's up to the printer manufacturer. In the corporate market customers generally update the printer drivers with the latest ones from the manufacturer. In the consumer market it helps to have a printer working out-of-the-box. Depending on the consumer's technical skills they could still decide to update to the ones from the manufacturer CD/website/windows update.
There are restrictions on the size of the drivers you may inbox in Windows, and you need to share source code, so that Microsoft can also compile your driver against the latest driver development kit at any time and do regression tests.
Metro was the codename of XPS print path.
As a developer you would need to support 'Avalon' XAML.
As a printer driver developer you would either 'enhance' your existing printer driver with the XML based DeviceCapabilities and PrintTicket API's, or build a XAML printer driver from the ground up.
With the filter pipeline in XPS drivers however it would become simpler to do this for any application from inside the driver.
Reversing page order is something the application has to do at the moment.
However, the downside from reversing page order in the driver is that the printer doesn't receive anything until the last page has been spooled.
A better (mechanical) solution is a smarter design of the output tray.
Ps. Nice to see the people we met at DevCon. Special thanks go to John for showing us the way to the Irish pub in Seattle
Only proof that there are plenty of other men who like to wear pink shirts
You also have to see the joy on people's faces afterwards when they are playing with their Tech'Ed 2002 chemical camping lights
That was the first time I heard the name Don Box and I didn't forget that name because it seemed that I absolutely had to go to one of his presentations in order to get some cool goodies... well that wasn't exactly the reason to go to one of his presentations, but it sure helped to get his name on my famous tech peoples list and buy his XML book and let him sign it the year later
Rock on and next time give the band more playtime, you might manage that by talking more softly in stead of slower