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Update: Google's Chromebooks "will live on" after all

Google’s hardware lead Rick Osterloh now says the company's plans to launch new Chromebooks are not "dead" as previously reported.

Published onMarch 2, 2017

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Update (3/2): Google’s hardware leader Rick Osterloh has now posted a quick note on his Twitter account that would seem to contradict what he was quoted as saying earlier this week at MWC. He now says that the company’s plans for new Chromebooks are not “dead” but in fact “will live on”, although he added that he could not reveal any specific plans.

Hey all, Google’s own Chromebooks aren’t “dead” as has been reported. They will live on, we just have *no plans to share at this time* ;)
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) March 2, 2017

It’s unclear if Osterloh was misquoted or if he simply misspoke during his chat with reporters at MWC.

Original story – Feb. 28: Google has confirmed what has been assumed for some time; the company has no plans to launch any future versions of its high-end Chromebook Pixel laptops with its Chrome operating system. The news was revealed by Google’s hardware leader Rick Osterloh during a chat today with journalists at the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show.

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According to TechCrunch, Osterloh stated:

Chrome OS is a huge initiative in the company. Google hasn’t backed away from laptops. We have the number two marketshare in the US and UK — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.

It’s not much of a shock to hear this confirmation. The company’s second, and now final, laptop, the Chromebook Pixel 2, launched in 2015, and was officially retired in August 2016. There’s been no rumors about Google developing any new Chromebooks of its own since then, and now it looks like will be the case for the foreseeable future. Instead, Google has been helping other hardware makers optimize their new Chromebooks to work with Chrome OS and for them to run Android apps, such as the recently launched Samsung Chromebook Pro.

While Google is still selling the 64GB version of the Pixel C tablet, which launched over a year ago, it looks like the company won’t be making any more of those devices either and will likely stop selling the tablet completely once it gets rid of its current inventory. For the moment, it looks like the branding is being reserved for its first-party Android smartphones, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Osterloh said today that the phones have done well, but did admit they have had issues with keeping up with the current demand.

How do you feel about Google getting out of the Chromebook hardware market, at least for now? Do you think this is a wise move, or should the company continue to develop and sell its own Chromebook laptops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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