Re: Hm.. Standard ink.
There's a slight problem with that. Engineering.
For a start we have 2 basic inkjet systems - bubble jet (boil the ink and use the steam to blast a droplet at the paper) and piezo jet (constrict the jet to blast a droplet onto the paper.
Then we have basic CMYK and CMYK + extra inks for better colour reproduction.
How many standards do you want?
What happens now is that someone reverse engineers the chemistry and tries to make a compatible ink. As cheaply as possible. And sells at as high price as the market will stand.
Over the years the compatibles have been getting better. Printer manufacturers have reacted by producing unique cartridges for each model and all sorts of dodgy electronic tricks to stop the compatibles, including releasing the lawyers. Lesgislators are beginning to react against this monopoly lockin.
Maybe Epson have smelt the custard and realised that :
a. The good times are nearly over and the business model is nearly worn out.
b. Lasers have got so much smaller and cheaper, tend to be more reliable and last longer, and are beginning to eat the inkjet's lunch. (Yes I know Epson also supply lasers.)
c. The customer is right royally pissed off with them, and with the low initial cost is well prepared to risk the machine with a cheap compatible replacement.
d. If he / she does and the machine borks some while later because the cheepie ink was naff the printer manufacturer is likely to be blamed.
-- Begin rant --
Yes, I know that there are many cheap and nasty lasers out there, and that the same issues of replacement supplies apply, but I suspect that print lifetimes per cartridge are generally far longer.
My main concern with all this is the problem of dried out cartridges. Epson heads are part of the printer rather than the cartridge, so that may be the reason why they have jumped first.
Disclaimer. I seem to do a lot of printing, which is why I've invested in workgroup level lasers. What little experience I've had with inkjets has been pretty poor. Colour device for occasional colour printing. Occasionality limited by the cost of the ink. And (in my case) non waterproof ink. Result - dried out jets quicktime. Now got a colour laser. Problem solved. Still only use it occasionally. Downside - its a big beast.
The Kyocera black and white FS1020D duplex was expensive at around, as I recall £250, but warrantied for 3 years / 100,000 copies on the process unit. 7200 copies from a tub of black powder (which has proved a pretty accurate average). Now getting on for 15 years and 70,000 copies and still giving me very good quality.
On the other hand there will always be a demand for the cheapest. Recently collected my daughter from uni for the summer. Loaded up, waiting for her to get her halls room inspection done before she left, watching a staff member going through the bins sorting the rubbish the departing students had chucked out. I was staggered at how many quite new looking inkjets he was extracting from the bins. How many were borked, how many were broken, how many just out of ink and how many just binned because someone was too lazy to take it home I couldn't say.
Personally, I feel anything that makes the infernal things fit for purpose would be a good thing. Where the line is drawn is open for debate.
-- End rant --