Back in the day, (which was what, six years ago?), it was a de facto "requirement" that you used third-party add-on printing products to make your Citrix or Terminal Server environment work. In addition to solving the driver management problem (so admins didn't have to install dozens of different printer drivers on their servers), these add-on products often created smaller print jobs and did a better job of identifying and mapping client printers.
I remember triCerat's "Screw Drivers" (that's two words.. get it?) being one of the earliest products that I first used back in 2000. I think ThinPrint wasn't too far behind them. Between those two products and some of the lesser-known ones like EOL's Printer Manager (EOL became Provisioning Networks which became Quest) and UniPrint... I feel like probably 80% of every Citrix environment I touched was using one of these products.
Then in Presentation Server 4 which came out in eiarly 2005, Citrix completely rewrote their UPD client printing feature, basing it on EMF technology which was similar (although not identical) to what triCerat and ThinPrint were doing. (This was somewhat scandalous at the time, because that same Presentation Server 4 release from Citrix saw them license key technology capabilities from RTO Software and Arema--yet when it came to printing, it was like "screw you printing ecosystem, we're going to do this on our own!"
Citrix's first attempt at the EMF-based printing made for nice marketing slicks, but the reality was that it was super buggy and unreliable. But over the years, Citrix kept patching and updating and fixing it. And now four years later, it seems like most people are saying, "Yeah, the Citrix printing works fine, and that's all we use."
Similar changes are happening in Microsoft's world. Windows Server 2003 had a "fallback" printer driver solution built-in. While not as advanced Citrix's, it did allow simpler and smaller environments to be able to print within thinking about server drivers. Windows Server 2008 saw the fallback driver updated to XPS, and again, that's something that "just works" in a lot of smaller, non-Citrix environments.
So anecdotally, I'm seeing fewer add-on printing products out in the world today. Is that consistent with what's happening on your environment? Or is this just something that I've started to notice more? (Like when you get a new car, you suddenly notice them everywhere, even though there aren't actually any more of them on the road.) Maybe in my case, since I"m realizing that it is possible in some cases to go without third-party printing products, I'm just noticing that everywhere now?