Google is focusing on hardware more than it has in the past with the Pixel smartphones, Google Wifi, and Google Home. One product Google doesn’t plan to continue making is laptops, according to Google’s SVP of hardware Rick Osterloh. If you head to the Google Store right now, the Chromebook Pixel isn’t available, and apparently it never will be again. This leaves the future of Google’s rumored Andromeda project even more murky than it was before.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress, Osterloh noted that Google is keeping the Pixel brand focused on smartphones right now. Importantly, he says Google has no further plans to make its own laptops (the Pixel C tablet continues to exist for now). It makes sense in the context of Google’s new hardware focus. The company is focusing more on hardware projects that can make money.

That doesn’t mean Google is uninterested in laptops, though. Chromebooks are a huge market, particularly in education. A new set of Chromebooks were announced recently that will all launch with Android app support and touchscreen displays.

The last iteration of the Chromebook Pixel was released in 2015 and sported several of those new USB Type-C ports. Like the first Pixel, it was priced much higher than other Chromebooks at $1,000. That was a lot for a Chromebook, but still a few hundred less than the first Pixel. In hindsight, the Chromebook Pixel seems like a passion project for Google. Chrome OS makes more sense on modest hardware that can be had on the cheap. $1,000 can buy you a very nice Windows laptop or a moderately good Apple one.

Image via Android Police

A number of rumors last year pointed to an upcoming 2-in-1 laptop from Google codenamed “Bison.” This device would not be a Chromebook, but it wouldn’t be a standard Android slate either. This was said to run a new OS known only as Andromeda that brought Chrome OS features into Android to make the experience better on a large screen device. The Andromeda rumors made a lot of sense at the time — Android tablets (and tablets in general) have been in decline. They aren’t sufficiently appealing when they just work like bigger phones.

The statement from Osterloh is sufficiently vague that Andromeda could still exist. He only said Google was not planning to produce branded laptops. It could work with an OEM partner to make hardware for the new software, similar to what it did with LG and the new Android Wear devices. All we can say for certain right now is that the Chromebook Pixel is dead.

Source :

extremetech

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