ZD Tech: Google is shutting down laptops

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. My name is Guillaume Serries and today I explain to you why Google decided to do away with Pixelbooks, its laptops equipped with Chrome OS.

Do you know the Pixelbook? The Pixelbook is Google’s portable PC equipped with the in-house Chrome OS operating system. As you will have understood, the Pixelbook is therefore a Chromebook.

But now Google has just canceled the design and therefore the manufacture of its next Pixelbook and has dissolved the team responsible for building it.

Internal cost-cutting programs at Google seem to have gotten the better of the Pixelbook

The design of the device was very advanced in its development and it was expected to be marketed in early 2023.

So why this stop? Well, internal cost-cutting programs at Google seem to have gotten the better of the Pixelbook. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, has been saying for months that he intends to slow hiring and cut some projects at the company. But for the Pixelbook, the decision is sudden. Until a few months ago, Google was indeed planning to keep it afloat.

But the Chromebook market has changed since 2017, when the first Pixelbook was released. Above all, Google’s hardware strategy has always been deployed in a logic of evangelization more than profitability.

Google’s hardware plan is to demonstrate that its operating systems perform

Whether it’s Pixel smartphones, Pixelbook laptops or the recent Pixel Watch connected watch, Google’s plan in terms of hardware is to demonstrate that its Android, Wear OS or even Chrome OS operating systems are powerful. .

In short, Google-made hardware has always been there to assure computer, smartphone, and smartwatch makers that Google’s software could be good products.

And for Chrome OS, it worked! In 2019, Acer, Asus, and other vendors have brought quality Chromebooks to market, to the point of being an attractive alternative to Microsoft Windows. In short, Sundar Pichai must have said to himself that the mission of the Pixelbook was accomplished, and that it was not necessarily necessary to put the cover back.

The volume of Chrome OS devices has exceeded that of Apple Macs

Granted, Windows still dominates the laptop operating system market. But this year, for the first time, IDC reports that the volume of Chrome OS devices has exceeded that of Apple Macs.

And then, it seems that Google has a lot to do on other categories of hardware, with tablets and connected watches. And who knows, relaunch Google Glass for good, Google’s connected glasses that never worked.

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