Last month, Business Insider reported that Google might be shifting employees out of the laptop and tablet division that brought us the premium, pricey Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, citing “roadmap cutbacks.” But though Google originally declined to comment, the company now tells The Verge that its hardware division actually does have new laptops and tablets on the way.
While Google wouldn’t talk details or timing, it did drop a big hint earlier today — as 9to5Google reports, the company led a session at its Cloud Next 2019 conference dubbed “Introducing Google Hardware for Business,” where it suggested that a new device might help on-the-go employees in ways that the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate couldn’t quite accomplish.
“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,” said Pixelbook Group product management lead Steve Jacobs, according to the report.
Interestingly, Jacobs’s own LinkedIn profile shows that he leads three different categories within Google’s Core Technology group: “Pixelbook,” “Pixel Slate,” and the tantalizingly named “Emerging.”
We’re not sure what “Emerging” means quite yet, but Jacobs’ speaker profile for Cloud Next describes the focus of the Core Technology group as “looking for new and innovative ways to advance the way we work and play on personal computers,” so it’s probably another kind of PC.
While “Google Hardware for Business” is also a new name, it may not be a brand-new initiative — it appears to be part of Google’s previous Chrome Enterprise push. Google is also quietly working on a new operating system that could theoretically replace both Android and Chrome OS someday, dubbed Fuchsia, though Google has said it’s just one of many experimental projects at the company.