Google has withdrawn the next version of its Pixelbook laptop and disbanded the team responsible for building it. The device was distant along in development and anticipated to debut next year.
Still, the project was clipped as part of recent cost-cutting efforts inside Google. As a result, team members have been transferred elsewhere inside the company.
A few months ago, Google intended to keep the Pixelbook going. At its yearly I/O developer conference, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh said, “we are driving to do Pixelbooks in the future.” But he also recognized that the Chromebook market had changed since 2017, when the original and the best Pixelbook launched. “What’s nice about the classification is that it has matured,” Osterloh said. “You can anticipate them to endure a long time.” So one way Google might be considering the ChromeOS market is that it simply doesn’t require Google like it once did.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, has been communicating for months that he plans to slow down hiring and cut a few projects across the enterprise. “In some cases, that suggests consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining procedures,” he wrote in a July memo. “In other cases, that suggests pausing development and re-deploying resources to more elevated priority areas.” Unfortunately, the Pixelbook team and the Pixelbook itself were lost in that unification and redeployment.
Google doesn’t communicate future product plans or personnel information; however, we are determined to build and support a portfolio of Google products that are creative and helpful for their users. It was stated by Laura Breen, a communications manager at Google. “Regarding our people, in times where we do shift priorities, we work to transition team members across devices and services.”
Google’s hardware approach, particularly with the Pixel devices, has been both to make good products and to push and show other manufacturers how to do the same. It started investing in Pixel phones to show what Google’s take on Android could look like.
More recently, the company is re-engaged in assembling smartwatches, with the Pixel Watch arriving in a few weeks and creating an Android tablet due to dispatch next year. Both later devices exist in classifications where most Android devices have fallen. Google is trying to persuade developers, manufacturers, and customers that they can be good.
Similarly, Google spent almost a decade trying to establish to the globe that a high-end Chromebook was a good idea. Then, with the first Chromebook Pixel in 2013, it went intentionally over the top, setting ChromeOS, which Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt had communicated would be featured on “completely disposable” hardware.
Google never implied that the Chromebook hardware mattered, but the hardware does matter, so Google completed the best hardware. Still, the Pixel and the subsequent Pixelbook models were niche gadgets with heightened prices, and while Google didn’t split out its Chromebook sales, it was too costly to make real noise in the more comprehensive laptop market.