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Google’s cost-cutting kills Pixelbook division


The Google Pixelbook Go laptop on a white table.
Enlarge / The Pixelbook Go begins at $649 for a Core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.

Valentina Palladino

Google’s {hardware} division continues to be unable to discipline a constant, dependable {hardware} choice. A report from The Verge claims Google has “canceled the following model of its Pixelbook laptop computer and dissolved the workforce accountable for constructing it.” This has been the case for a number of years, however the one new Chromebooks on the market will probably be ones from third events.

The final laptop computer launched by the corporate was the Chromebook Go in 2019, which continues to be on the market at Shortly after that system’s launch, studies surfaced that the laptop computer and pill division was being downsized. Whereas the pill plans managed to get better because of Android, the laptop computer plans are apparently lifeless. The final credible Google laptop computer rumors had been from the lead-up to the Google Tensor/Pixel 6 launch. Google was rumored to be making its personal chips and, together with a telephone (Pixel 6) rumors, constantly claimed a laptop computer model of the chip can be occurring. Google {Hardware} SVP Rick Osterloh mentioned as lately as Might that the corporate was “going to do Pixelbooks sooner or later,” and the report says “the system was far alongside in growth and anticipated to debut subsequent yr” earlier than it was canceled.

The explanation for the dissolution of the Pixelbook workforce is seemingly Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s cost-cutting. The Google CEO mentioned in August that “productiveness as an entire just isn’t the place it must be for the headcount we have now” and warned that the corporate can be “consolidating the place investments overlap and streamlining processes.” The Verge’s report says, “The Pixelbook workforce and the Pixelbook itself had been casualties of that consolidation and redeployment.”

Taking Google {Hardware} significantly as an actual enterprise has at all times been tough. Google treats the {hardware} market like a small facet interest and solely sells gadgets in a small variety of international locations. Google {Hardware}’s product traces are barely product “traces” in any respect, with inconsistent releases and not one of the iterative yearly enhancements that appear to energy different {hardware} operations. With out an automated yearly Pixelbook launch, Google’s timing with this relaunch would have been terrible. It final launched a Chromebook a yr earlier than the pandemic, and when the pandemic hit and Chromebook gross sales had been at an all-time excessive, Google had nothing to supply. Google’s Pixelbook would have arrived simply earlier than Chromebook gross sales crashed again to Earth.

The instability of Google {Hardware} means no lifeless product is ever really lifeless. Google stop making tablets in 2015, got here again for Chrome OS tablets in 2018, then stop for an additional three years, and now it is planning to launch a brand new Android pill in 2023. Absolutely, we’ll get one other Google laptop computer sometime, however we’ll simply have to attend just a few extra years.




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