As Google braces for what it believes to be worsening economic conditions, one of the first public casualties of its cost-cutting measures appears to be its laptop division responsible for the company’s flagship Pixelbook hardware.
The Verge reports that people familiar with the matter confirm that Google has “cancelled the next version of its Pixelbook laptop and disbanded the team responsible for building it.”
The news follows Alphabet CEO (Google) Employee Note Sundar Pichai that explained a slowdown in hiring at the company as well as other cost-cutting measures adopted to prepare for a period of economic uncertainty.
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Interestingly, the new Pixelbook news comes after several quarters of declining Chromebook sales in its biggest market, North America. Before the pandemic, Chromebook sales had surged and with many teachers and schools placed in quarantine, the environment of laptops and low-cost educational software catapulted Chromebooks to the 1st or 2nd position of devices sold for a quick minute. .
Unfortunately for Chromebooks, life is slowly returning to a new normal, and the accelerated sales journey of low-cost laptops has since died out.
While it’s only tangential, Google pulling the plug on this year’s Pixelbook and disbanding the team seems to reflect market realities for the company.
The Pixelbook division seemed less cohesive and more confusing than its smartphone counterpart, where hardware releases were years apart, design languages changed with each release, and due to the operating system, fewer notable features were highlighted.
Ultimately, Google makes software and sometimes hardware, but its expertise lies in algorithms and development. Similar to Microsoft, Google’s Chromebook legacy is based on the software and services it provides to third-party hardware manufacturers.
While the Pixelbook may not be an ongoing effort at Google, many manufacturers will create hardware designs based on the operating system developed and provided by the company, we’ll just have to wait and see if Google decides to re-enter the market. in the future with a new vision of ChromeOS on hardware.