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Google Pulls the Plug On Its Pixel Laptops ( 44

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Although its new flagship phones have been doing brisk sales, Google's high-end, $1,299 Pixel-branded Chromebooks won't be seeing much love from the search giant in the near future. According to TechCrunch, reporting from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, Google's SVP of hardware Rick Osterloh has announced the second version of the Pixel laptop will be the last of its kind. As TechCrunch notes, Google is trimming down the Pixel line to just the smartphones and the Pixel C tablet for now. Although there may be other devices carrying the name in the future, Osterloh said it was unlikely that its own laptops would be one of them.
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Google Pulls the Plug On Its Pixel Laptops

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  • by chrism238 ( 657741 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @08:55PM (#53950405)
    Perhaps, like so many of Google's software offerings, the Pixel was just in beta? It's considered dangerous to invest time and effort into much of fickle Google's software, lest it's withdrawn with only a few months' notice, and the same would appear true of their hardware lines, too.
    • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @10:01PM (#53950681) Homepage

      It's considered dangerous to invest time and effort into much of fickle Google's software, lest it's withdrawn with only a few months' notice, and the same would appear true of their hardware lines, too.

      Except that cloud services stop working when Google turns them off, while a Pixel notebook still works after Google stops selling new ones.

      Also, since the Pixel uses an x86 processor [], Chrome OS updates will continue to Just Work on it, or you could wipe it and install some distro of Linux like Linus Torvalds did []. So I'm really not seeing the problem here.

      • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

        Perhaps people like Linus wiping Chrome OS and installing Linux is part of the problem. Of what benefit is that to Google? Tablets and smartphones are more locked down leading to better data collection.

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      Yes, that is the impression I am getting. A key feature, running Android apps, was not available at the launch of the device, and is only slowly stabilising. The GUI is also subject to change, and it is nearly impossible to stay on a certain version (even ignoring security issues).

      It is a very nice piece of hardware, but the software limits it to a web browser, and for that it is just too expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Who could have foreseen that?

    • I thought the idea was to introduce a premium device on which Google employees would develop Chrome OS. That it was sold to the general public was incidental.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously. For the entire duration of its existence, Google has only had search, advertising, and bluster going for it (stop right there, Fandroids. Android doesn't make them any money save through the aforementioned channels). Why anyone continues to put faith in them is a true head scratcher, particularly given what they take from their users.

  • and nothing of value was lost.

    Just remember not to spend too much of your time into whatever they introduced. Your time is worth more than that.

  • The article has been updated with this addition:

    Update: Never say never! Osterloh sent us this additional comment after we published: "Regarding the future of Google-branded laptops (whether called Pixel or not), I should clarify that we don't have any plans to discuss at this time."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The idea of the ChromeBook was to be cheap. Going up market never made sense since it would inherently lack features that an equivalent Windows or Mac (or Linux) laptop would have.

    • by steveha ( 103154 )

      Going up market never made sense

      Well, only Google knows the real reasons for the Chrome Pixel, but the speculation I have seen is that it was intended as a "halo" product [], to show how nifty a ChromeOS device could potentially be. It's not desirable for customers to think of ChromeOS as being the OS you have to put up with on dirt-cheap hardware. Showing off ChromeOS on hardware about as nice as a MacBook Air has some value; whether it's sufficient value to really be worth it, I won't speculate.

      It's possib

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing really wrong with Pixel notebook but it was overkill for such a low impact OS as Chrome OS. After all it was a Linux shell with a Chrome browser and some web apps and will add Android apps. Again, low impact that doesn't require a $1200 notebook. Would be the same if Apple made a MacBook Pro and ran a OS like Chrome only using Safari as the browser. I think the price point of a Chrome OS device is under $300. That's about what they are worth in real world value. After all have you ever tried to trad

  • --Arnold

  • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:32PM (#53951033)
    If they drop the price enough, it might be a good deal for a Linux laptop.
    • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

      They don't need to drop the price, they just need something larger than 64GB of onboard storage. Meanwhile I will plug on with my 8 year old 14" 1400x1050 screen laptop while I save up my pennies to buy a Surface Book 4 all to run Linux as I flat out refuse to buy a 16:9 screened laptop.

  • ChromeOS is still Gentoo underneath. Where is the justification for another generation of custom hardware platform to support that hack when Pink or Magenta or whatever is around the corner?
  • you know unless it's a instant hit, they will pull the plug in a heartbeat. It's pretty much set up to fail from the start.
  • I'd buy one.

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur