I discovered a serious problem with Microsoft Word 2007 and potentially other Microsoft Office applications where if a networked printer is offline and is set as the default printer in Vista and XP would cause the following symptoms:
I discovered this when I set my default printer to the “Microsoft XPS Document” printer as default and everything opened fine. I proceeded to try and get on the CUPS web page but it was offline as well as other services from the server. A quick reboot and everything returned back to normal.
Adobe’s Acrobat Reader do suffer from this problem but only when you try to print a PDF file.
I’ve never experienced this sort of failure when I was working at GlaxoSmithKline and when a printer server / queue went down which makes me think it might be an issue with a setting some where like a timeout.