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Google may not ditch laptops, just shed Chromebook Pixel name

There may not be room for two Pixel-named devices in Googleland. Meanwhile, the company's Chrome OS software is here to stay.

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Google may not continue making its Chromebook Pixel laptops.

CNET

Google seems to be at a transition when it comes to its laptop strategy, with the search giant looking beyond its Chromebook Pixel, laptops it's designed in-house.

"We may not see a next generation of the Pixel Chromebook line, but it doesn't mean Google isn't still interested in branded laptops and or convertibles," a source familiar with Google's thinking said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Rick Osterloh, Google's hardware chief, said the company has "no plans to do one right now," according to a report by TechCrunch. The answer was in response to a question on whether Google plans to produce more Pixel laptops. Osterloh met with reporters at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

Right now, Google has two versions of its Pixel laptops on the market, both of which are sold out and absent from the Google's online store. The company doesn't plan to make anymore of those either, according to TechCrunch.

Asked if Google is getting out of making its own laptops, Osterloh said in an emailed statement to CNET, "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."

So it may just be an issue around naming, since Osterloh basically says they're not ruling out making Google laptops in the future. It may make sense for Google to move away from giving laptops the Pixel moniker. In October, the search giant unveiled the Pixel phone, a premium, Google-branded phone that it poured a lot of resources into -- including marketing and design. So, from a branding standpoint, Google might want to reserve the name for its flagship smartphone.

But even if Google's in-house designed Chromebooks go away, its Chrome OS software is sticking around.

The news comes at a time when there has been a lot of speculation about Chrome OS, Google's operating system for laptops. Some observers have said it makes sense for Google to combine the software with Android, Google's mobile operating system, which powers almost nine out of every 10 phones shipped on the planet.

But the source said Google remains committed to Chrome OS. For example, Google in January unveiled a new Chromebook with Samsung, called the Chromebook Pro.

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