I've found that generally, the shipped-with-windows driver can get you by for most printing, but if you have a multi-function and want to scan then it's the HP bloatware. Even on the models (I've used) with a web interface, they have a basic scan function through the browser, but anything else pretty much requires the install CD. Which then gives you not only drivers, but all the rest of the bloat, the background processes with totally non-descriptive names, the extra services (also with non-descriptive names), the 'Shop for Supplies here!' BS, the auto updater that calls home, and the rest. You can manually weed some of it out..but not all. If you try to uninstall parts, it bitches and moans that it is required for functionality (I don't think that HP Photosmart Essentials is a vital component, and I sure as hell don't want or need it. Same with the 'Solution Center'). At least that's my experience.