HP Officejet Pro 8500 - Happy with Mac, Linux and Windows XP

Summary:If you'll remember, I had quite the experience wrestling with HP's 6310v and C5140 printers (see HP Officejet 6310v or Photosmart C5140 plus Windows XP-an exercise in installation futility). The 6310v appeared to do what it was supposed to do.

If you'll remember, I had quite the experience wrestling with HP's 6310v and C5140 printers (see HP Officejet 6310v or Photosmart C5140 plus Windows XP-an exercise in installation futility). The 6310v appeared to do what it was supposed to do. No one could get the required software to load on Windows XP. Since I couldn't get the software to load, the C5140 printer was never taken out of its box.  In both cases, I gave HP the opportunity to help.  I spent hours on the phone, on chat sessions and even sending Email to HP support sorcerers and neither they nor I could get the software to load. I guess my post didn't please the folks over at HP.

HP has its PR company contact me

HP had Brent Camara of their PR firm contact me. He pointed out that huge herds of these printers have been installed and are operating all over the world.  He also pointed out that problems, such as those I experienced, were vanishingly rare.

Brent wanted me to try again with a different printer model, the Officejet Pro 8500.  I guess that was because the software for that machine was significantly better than that coming with either the 6310v or the C5140.

Although the Lexmark device was serving our purposes over here at KG LLC, I was willing to give HP another try. Over the weekend, I moved the Lexmark printer to another desk.

Initial impressions of the Officejet Pro 8500

As I moved the box into my office, my first impression was that the box was taller and wider than than any of the other inkjet printers we here at KG LLC have used. The box was similar in size and weight to many of the small laser printers we've used..

Downloading the software

Rather than opening the box to obtain the needed software, I simply downloaded software for each of the desktop machines for the test. After all, if I couldn't get this software to load, it wasn't worth the time to unload the machine.

As with the other HP printers, HP's software for this printer is large. The software for Mac OS X consumes 168.73 MB. The software for Windows XP takes up 220.16 MB. Similar software for Linux can't be found directly on the HP website. It is necessary to chase some links to another website, a site that HP won't vouch for. It points out that it assumes no responsibility for software on that site. Hmmmm.

Installing the software

The software loaded easily on the Mac and I was able to get the Linux machines on speaking terms with the printer quickly. With a bit of trepidation, I approached the Windows XP machine.  I looked at it, it looked at me.  Neither of us was looking forward to an ordeal loading the HP software.

Although I had loads of trouble with HP's software for the other printers, Loading the Officejet Pro 8500 software took only about 20 minutes. Only one problem was experienced with the procedure. The registration software wouldn't work with Firefox, my primary Browser on all of my systems. It insisted that I use Internet Explorer 7. Since that software isn't available on all of the other systems in use here, it has not been loaded on any of the systems.

Furthermore, I've never been willing to load Microsoft's "Windows Genuine Advantage" software which is a requirement for IE 7 and 8.  I guess Microsoft's assumption that I'm a software thief and that I have to prove that I'm not gives me enough heartburn that I don't download software that has that requirement.

How did it work?

Once the software was installed on all of the systems, I was able to run a few tests. The machine was easily able to print pages containing text, photos and other types of graphics without working up a sweat. It was able to munch down photos, complex documents and the like when I tested the scanning and copying functions.  The OCR software, by the way, doesn't like the word "Kusnetzky" and comes up with clever, but wrong, alternatives. Two sided printing seems to be much slower because the printer insisted on waiting quite a while for the ink to dry on side one before starting on page two of any document.

While I'm not equipped to test the printing, copying or scanning speed, the device and its software appeared to do the job quickly and efficiently.

It appears that HP got it right with the software for the Officejet Pro 8500 and the printer itself.

Good job HP!

Topics: Windows, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Printers, Tech & Work


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He is responsible for research, publications, and operations. Mr. Kusnetzky has been involved with information technology since the late 1970s. Mr. Kusnetzky has been responsible for research operations at the 451 Group; corporate and... Full Bio

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