Reports have emerged that Google has killed off the upcoming Pixelbook Laptop, with an internal memo circulated around Google’s HQ, with the team working on the upcoming Pixelbook laptop now reportedly moved to other roles at Google, according to The Verge.
According to the reports, the next upcoming Pixelbook laptop was “far along in development”, with the company now opting to shift resources away from the premium Chromebook in an effort to cut costs.
The news of the shutdown of the upcoming Pixelbook laptop comes as a bit of a surprise as Google was planning to keep the Pixelbook going, with Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh telling The Verge that “we are going to do Pixelbooks in the future,” whilst also acknowledging that the Chromebook market has certainly changed since 2017, with Osterloh stating “What’s nice about the category is that it has matured, you can expect them to last a long time.”
Google launched its first ever Pixelbook laptop in 2013 with the Chromebook Pixel – first Google-made hardware to get Pixel branding which it followed up 2 years later with a slightly pricier model. In 2017 it launched its first Pixelbook high-end alternative to the typically low-cost Chromebooks, with the company launching the Pixelbook Go, a more affordable, but still higher-end, Chromebook with Pixel branding in 2019.
Laura Breen, a communications manager at Google, told The Verge:
“Google doesn’t share future product plans or personnel information; however, we are committed to building and supporting a portfolio of Google products that are innovative and helpful for our users,: and that “In regards to our people, in times where we do shift priorities we work to transition team members across devices and services.”
The reports do somewhat surprise the industry but also don’t, given Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO has been stating for months that he intends Google to slow down hiring and cut some projects across the company, with Pichai stating a few months ago in July:
“In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes,” and “In other cases, that means pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas.”
Sadly it looks like the Pixelbook team is one of those casualties and it is yet to be seen how this could affect ChromeOS and Chromebook developments going forward, given the reason Google made its own Pixelbooks – to show off how much was possible when ChromeOS was combined with more premium hardware instead of just cheaper hardware we had seen with previous Chromebooks in the market.