Whoa, it is really sad that it's not only accepted, but expected behavior for a word processing document to look vastly different (note my example: wrapping text around a table, page breaks, etc.) depending on the printer Windows was using. I might understand if the text were rendered a little different due to fonts (installed on the printer) being slightly different from the fonts Windows is using. But I find it hard to believe that text flowing around a table should be any different on one computer+printer vs another computer+printer. If that's really how Windows works, I think I'm even less of a fan.
And yet, Microsoft makes a big deal that if you run Microsoft Office, you will be able to share your documents with others running Office. Apple makes a point of that too in some of their ads. The Microsoft ad copy on Apple's Online Store says:
The latest version of the industry standard for productivity software on the Macintosh platform. Microsoft® Office 2008 for Mac is more powerful and easier to use. Office 2008 combines Microsoft Word for Mac, Microsoft Power-Point® for Mac, Microsoft Excel® for Mac, Microsoft Entourage® for Mac, and Microsoft Messenger for Mac and lets you easily create high-impact documents and seamlessly share your ideas with others, whether they are on the Mac or Windows® platform.(Emphasis mine.)
And yet, if you cannot guarantee that your document on a Mac (in my example, at least one person printed their copy of the doc on a Mac) will look the same as on Windows, how is that seamless???
On the other hand, Linux/Unix systems expects the application to generate a Postscript document, which is then sent to the print driver, and it's the driver's job to turn that into a printed page on the specific printer. A document should look the same printed on a laser printer vs an inkjet printer. Isn't that the whole point of a printer driver? I think the Linux/Unix method makes more sense.