Terminal Services Easy Print is based on XPS
Microsoft's Terminal Services software allows client server computing like in the good old X Server days: you have your super duper heavy server (or server farm) running everything for every user, and you have your clients connecting to this server, and merely functioning as input (keyboard & mouse) / output (screen) terminals.
It's a system that makes sense in a big environment, where a lot of control is needed over the desktops - yeah, big companies spring to mind ;-)
I've played with this already a few times, and it actually works quite nice. Even to the point that you sometimes hardly notice the fact that you're working on a thin client
Now, what has this to do with XPS?
Take a look here
: the next version of Terminal Services (Windows Server 2008) is using XPS as the format to support remote to the client
This is called printing redirection
, it means that you are working ok on the server and all that, but you do want your print jobs to appear on the desktop printer next to you. Either the admin of the server has setup your printer on the server (meaning: network printer, driver installed, etc...). If not, you can use printing redirection: the server routes the print job to your local machine to print.
This means the server needs to generate a file and send it over to your client to be able to print. And as the server has no driver for your printer, an intermediate spool file format was chosen: XPS.
It make sense to use XPS: it contains all the resources required to be able to print, and is fully device independent, allowing high fidelity printing between the server and the client.
It's a nice demonstration of the capabilities of XPS, and illustrates the multitude of scenario's where we are going to see this format pop up in the future.