Pixelbook begone? Google reportedly reduces in-house computer production

Doris Richards
March 14, 2019

Employees asked to transfer in the past two weeks include hardware engineers, technical program managers, and program manager supporters.

For those that don't know, the "Create" team is the hardware wing that works on tablets and notebooks, such as the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook.

As for its software teams and Chrome OS in particular, none of those employees seem to have been affected by this move.

It is worth noting that the "roadmap cutbacks" does not have any role to play in hardware division other than the tablet and laptop and that is a sigh of relief for employees occupied with projects related to Pixel smartphones, smart home devices and wearables.

By asking employees to seek temporary, rather than permanent, new roles, Google may be leaving itself flexibility to boost staffing on the Create hardware team in the future. However, the team reportedly had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and the downsizing will likely "pare down the portfolio" of products. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising.

A Google spokesperson declined Business Insider's request for comment. Google has repeatedly stressed it is in the hardware business for the long run, even as the efforts have driven up expenses and weighed down the rich profit margins of Google's online ad business.

Right now, the Google Pixel phone project doesn't seem to be impacted by these changes, but the people with knowledge of the restructuring told the cited source that several projects have been canceled in the laptop and tablet division.

This does not mean we will see Google's Chromebook running Chrome OS going away.

With the Pixel C, Google attempted to re-imagine what a portable 2-in-1 could be by designing a detachable tablet that connected to its keyboard dock via a tilting, magnetic flap that functioned sort of like a reverse kickstand.

The move comes after the group received pressure to turn Google Hardware into "a real business" from higher-ups at Google/Alphabet.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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