In a not-totally-surprising move yesterday, Google hinted very strongly that another #madebyGoogle device is in the works and will be announced “down the road.” At the annual Cloud Next event, in a session titled Google Hardware For Business, a juicy hint was dropped that is making it quite clear that Google is not out of the laptop market. Quite the opposite, actually, as it has something coming aimed directly at enterprise customers.
According to 9to5 Google, in the session (which was not publicly available outside of those who paid to attend), Google recapped their previous 2 devices under the #madebyGoogle branding, stating that the Pixelbook was made for “leaders, busy executives and information workers” while the Pixel Slate was made more for “customer-facing teams.”
For future efforts, Steve Jacobs – Lead Product Manager for the Pixelbook Group – described an upcoming device that helps the workforce “be productive on-the-go.” More specifically, he stated this new device would:
Help the employees that are constantly on the go that have a working paradigm where 60% of them — and this is all of our [Google] employees — are working outside of their desk. And 43% of them are working remotely at least part of the time.
The tools they have aren’t really conducive to the lifestyle and work style that makes them maximally productive and excited about going to work every day. And we think there’s some unique things we can do differently than the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate that are going to really help give them what they’re looking for when they’re working in this new modern cloud-first era.
The fact that this isn’t just an updated Pixelbook or Pixel Slate is really fascinating. Citing that they believe there are things Google can do with hardware that are different than the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate is worthy of at least an eyebrow raise or two. With the Pixelbook being extremely thin and light and the Pixel Slate holding down the tablet angle, I’m not really sure what more could be done differently to assist those on the go: but I’m obviously interested!
As an interesting side note, Jacobs’s LinkedIn profile shows that he leads three groups inside Google’s Core Technology group: Pixelbook, Pixel Slate, and another simply titled Emerging. What that could mean is foggy at best right now, but it does seem that another Pixel-branded Chromebook is likely just around the corner that will tackle this emerging, on-the-go work life discussed above.
Officially, it seems Google has no announcements on this hardware this week but instead will reveal the details down the road a bit. While this flies a bit in the face of last month’s media hype that Google was exiting the laptop business, this device is likely one that was already in the production phase and would not have been affected by the shift. I’m still of the mind that Google could put out an updated Chromebook every 18-24 months and accomplish what it needs in the Chrome OS space without having to make a myriad of devices.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on any further announcements from the Cloud Next event as we are traveling to New York for Acer’s Global Press event this Thursday. At least we know we’ll be seeing some new hardware there!
SOURCE: 9to5 Google