Thousands of people have been left unable to use their HP printers due to a firmware update that disables them.
(CCM) — A large number of HP printers have been rendered unusable by a firmware update that prevents owners from using third-party ink cartridges, according to the BBC. HP's OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X printers are affected. The new firmware ensures that printers are using genuine HP ink cartridges that are equipped with a security chip. "The purpose of this update is to protect HP's innovations and intellectual property," the company said in a statement. Users of non-HP ink cartridges have reportedly encountered error messages including "cartridge problem," "one or more cartridges are missing or damaged," or "older generation cartridge," but official HP cartridges that have been refilled with third-party ink will continue to function, according to HP.
Printer manufacturers frequently sell ink cartridges for their printers at much higher prices than third-party ink cartridge-makers, who, for now, are locked out of the market. But in the past, third-party cartridge-makers have been successful at producing their own chips, which bypass HP printer firmware restrictions, so it is likely that users will be able to use lower cost ink cartridges again in the near future.
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