Earlier this week, comments from Google hardware SVP Rick Osterloh suggested that the company was totally out of the first-party laptop business.
“Google hasn’t backed away from laptops,” he said, referring to the company’s Chromebook efforts. “But we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.” The statement understandably prompted a wave of stories about the death of the Chromebook Pixel and related projects—the last version of the Pixel was introduced in March of 2015 and unceremoniously discontinued in August of 2016.
Now, Osterloh has modified his comments somewhat, tweeting that Google simply has “no plans to share at this time.” That doesn’t mean Google laptops aren’t dead—the company has still discontinued its only first-party laptop without a replacement—but it leaves the door open for future projects. It has been suggested that a Chromebook Pixel 3 could be a trial balloon for the “Andromeda” OS, a marriage of Android and ChromeOS that could unify Google’s desktop and mobile software platforms.
When the Pixel laptop was discontinued, Google said it remained “committed to the Pixel program,” which lives on in the forever-buggy Pixel C tablet and the Pixel phones. Where the Pixel laptop was mostly aimed at enthusiasts and developers, latter-day Pixel devices have been positioned more as premium consumer electronics.