HP says Windows 7-compatible printer drivers are coming soon

Users may have to buy a new printers since only some of HP's newer printers will be supported on Microsoft's new operating system

Windows 7 users may find there are no drivers yet for their Hewlett-Packard printer, although the company said it expects to release some new compatible drivers soon.

HP is recommending that some of its newer products should be used with Windows 7, which was released on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, for some people that will mean buying a new printer.

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"Older products may have limited driver support, limited features or both," according to a page on HP's Web site that provides a list of products that either do have drivers available or will soon. "If your legacy product is not listed, no support is offered for Windows 7."

Users have been griping on HP forums about the driver situation for months. In some cases, HP is not developing drivers for products that did have drivers for Windows Vista, Windows 7's predecessor.

"According to HP's compatibility lists, there will be no support for HP Laserjet Color 3600n under Windows 7," wrote user FastasFlash200 in September. "Is this really true and if so, for heaven's sake why? We bought this device not so long ago for our small business office and waited desperately for upgrading computers and devices to Windows 7, but it seems HP won't support this."

Another user wrote that his LaserJet 3600 has a manufacture date of June 2008. "I'm going to make a big stink to everyone," wrote MorePissedOff in all capital letters early last month.

The delay with the drivers HP is building "really has to do with making sure that all the drivers work smoothly for the customers who make the Windows 7 change," according to an e-mail response from a spokeswoman on behalf of the company. "HP worked with Microsoft to make sure that the majority of current/recently launched products supported Windows 7 at launch and continues to work with them to ensure the smooth transition moving forward. "

HP isn't saying which of the absent drivers may be released first. The best advice is for consumers is to click through to the actual product page and see if one is available. At least some of the drivers should be available within a couple of weeks if not sooner, the spokeswoman said.

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