A black Pixelbook Go laptop sitting on a desk.
The Pixelbook Go will be the last of Google’s laptops, it seems.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

The team that built the next version of the laptop has been dissolved. According to a person familiar with the matter, the device was far along in development and was expected to debut next year, but the project was cut as a result of recent cost-cutting measures inside of the company. The members of the team have been moved.

As recently as a few months ago, the company was planning on keeping the device. Ahead of its annual I/O developer conference, Rick Osterloh said that they are going to do thePixelbooks in the future. He acknowledged that the market for Chromebooks has changed since the original iteration of the device was released. It is nice that the category has grown. They will last a long time. One way in which the market for ChromeOS might be different than it was before is that it doesn't need the help of the internet giant.

The CEO of the company has said for months that he wants to slow down hiring and cut some projects. He wrote in a July memo that it was possible to consolidate investments where they overlap. It means pausing development and redeploying resources to higher priority areas. The Pixelbook team was a casualty of that consolidation.

Laura Breen, a communications manager at the company, said that they are committed to building and supporting a portfolio of products that are innovative and helpful for their users. We work to transition team members across devices and services when we shift priorities.

As recently as a few months ago, Google was planning to keep the Pixelbook going

To show other manufacturers how to do the same things, as well as to make good products, has been a part of the hardware strategy of the company. As a way to show off what it could look like, it began investing in thePixel phones. The company is working on two new products, one of which is thePixel Watch, which will come in a few weeks. There are two of those devices in the category where most of the other devices have failed. The company is trying to convince people that they can be good.

In a similar way, the world was told that a high-end Chromebooks was a good idea. It went over the top with the first Chromebooks, putting the operating system on a beautiful device with a price tag of over a thousand dollars. The hardware does matter, and so the best hardware was made by the company. The Chromebook was too expensive to make a difference in the broader laptop market, even though it was a niche device.

Google’s original Pixelbook was meant to show off all the things a Chromebook could do.
Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

The case for ChromeOS has changed since the launch of thePixelbook. It wasn't just a laptop anymore, it was also a device that could be used like a tablet. The device was accompanied by a pen called thePixelbook Pen. The goal was to create a single product that would compete with the iPad and MacBook Air. It was able to use its data and run apps on its phone, thanks to the built-in Google assistant. It was all of the vision of the search engine. It had a great laptop keyboard.

What made the Pixelbook great has mostly been lost in the shuffle. The first thing it did was chase and Chrome OS-ize everything that looked like the future of computing, like the Microsoft Surface. The smaller and slightly cheaper version of the Pixelbook just couldn't keep up with the competition when it was released in 2019. The cost of comparable Chromebooks is at least a hundred dollars less, according to a review by The Verge. What are you paying for with the book?

Chromebooks were good by the year 2019. Non-disposable hardware has begun to be invested in by a number of companies. Dell and HP were selling Chromebooks in a wide range of prices and specifications. The real alternative to Windows was the Chromebooks. Most of those options were less expensive than the ones from the internet giant.

Chromebooks in general are hugely popular in education — and not so popular elsewhere

According to Brian Lynch, an analyst at Canalys,Chromebooks are a mainstream computing product now. You can find good Chromebooks in all forms, including the flip, fold, and detach ones. The market for high-end devices has become more competitive, with devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and theSamsung Chromebook 2 bringing some of the design prowess of the space to the area.

Students needed to attend school from home in the early days of the Pandemic. According to data from the analysis firm, ChromeOS devices outsold Apple's Macs. Between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021. After a huge early boost to the PC market, the market has slowed down, which has led to a decline in ChromeOS.

An Acer Chromebook Spin 714, open in stand mode, on a dark wood table.
Acer and other PC makers have stepped up their Chromebook game in recent years.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

The Pixelbook Go is still for sale in the company's store, despite the fact that it hasn't been shipped a new laptop in three years. In recent months, some have speculated that the company might invest in the space, looking for ways to bring its artificial intelligence prowess to ChromeOS and laptops, as well as to solve theAndroid compatibility problem once and for all.

It is clear that the company is focused on where it believes the Android community needs it the most. It is possible that after years of trying to make luxurious, cutting-edge Chromebooks happen, the company has realized that schools and students are likely to keep being the best ChromeOS customers and that those customers will never paygoogle's prices

It's fair to say that there has been a long history of giving up on projects before eventually deciding to try them again, like when it said it was getting out of the tablets business three years ago. For now, the market for the ChromeOS is strong and no longer being pushed by the company.