Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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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 subsequent model of its Pixelbook laptop computer and dissolved the crew chargeable for constructing it.” This has been the case for a number of years, however the one new Chromebooks on the market can 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 retailer.google.com. 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 well because of Android, the laptop computer plans are apparently useless. The final credible Google laptop computer rumors have 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 cellphone (Pixel 6) rumors, constantly claimed a laptop computer model of the chip could be taking place. Google {Hardware} SVP Rick Osterloh stated 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 improvement and anticipated to debut subsequent yr” earlier than it was canceled.

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

Taking Google {Hardware} significantly as an actual enterprise has at all times been troublesome. Google treats the {hardware} market like a small facet pastime and solely sells gadgets in a small variety of international locations. Google {Hardware}’s product strains are barely product “strains” in any respect, with inconsistent releases and not one of the iterative yearly enhancements that appear to energy different {hardware} operations. With out an computerized 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 have 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 useless product is ever really useless. Google give up making tablets in 2015, got here again for Chrome OS tablets in 2018, then give up for one more three years, and now it is planning to launch a brand new Android pill in 2023. Certainly, 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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