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What’s going on behind the scenes with Google’s channel program? Some sources say the company plans to cut its channel program back to skeletal remains, while others say big announcements about products and go-to-market strategies are around the corner.

The dramatic difference perhaps reflects a conflict within the company itself as to whether it will work with the channel or ignore the channel as it takes various products and technologies to market.

Another sign pointing to such a conflict? Slipping dates for channel news. The company’s scheduled December announcement was abruptly canceled, and since then the search giant has been promising that the news will break “next week.” That’s nearly three months’ worth of weeks. But VARs are still waiting.

Google certainly wasn’t shy about cutting Postini prices, sending VAR partners for the e-mail filtering product into the arms of competitive vendors. Meanwhile, murmurings among well-placed sources say the company’s fledgling channel program for search appliances and apps may be shut down before it even has a chance to premiere.