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Here’s a tough question. Suppose you buy a printer (let’s call it the HPC4380 All-in-one), and let’s assume you install it and it works. You reboot your machine after a couple of days, try and print something and find the printer has vanished. Since it’s a WiFi device, you can’t really check any cables and Windows in all it’s mighty power doesn’t seem to know (or want to) find network printers that aren’t connected to a machine, you’re not left with many options, other than re-installing the vendor’s software.

As you’re about to do so, you suddenly see an icon that has been installed for you on the desktop. It’s called the “HP Solution Center”.


What would you expect it to do?

Personally, I’d expect to see some application that might help diagnose problems with my printer. How naive was I? Instead I got a splash screen come and go so fast I didn’t even see a logo and then I got this nice dialog box displayed.


Now I don’t normally care much for software that ships with printers. I just pretty much install the drivers (I’ll figure out myself when the ink is low, thank you!), but seeing that this printer vanishes every time it feels like it, and takes my scanner away too, I would have thought at least I could get a little bit of help from one of the these apps, seeing they only take up 250 MB of my drive.