Google Makes Hardware a Second-Class Citizen, Several Devices Now in Doubt

Google is reportedly cutting back on hardware, moving some workers to new jobs

For anyone who has been following Google's hardware, this report probably doesn't come as a surprise, because despite releasing ambitious devices like the Pixelbook and Pixel C, there's always been a major issue or two holding those gadgets back from mainstream appeal. One source claims that the Create team had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and that the movement of employees away from the project is indicative of the company "par [ing] down the portfolio" of products. As a result, the company has removed dozens of employees from its "Create" team - the hardware division responsible for developing Google's tablets and laptops - and moved them to other positions within Google or parent Alphabet. Hardware Engineers, Technical Program Managers and related supporting staff have been given notice of these "roadmap cutbacks".

An internal source close to Business Insider told that Google is now going through "roadmap cutbacks" and hence the decision. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising.

Google's hardware division has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks to the success of its smart speakers and Pixel smartphones.

FCA recalling almost 900,000 vehicles over emissions issue
The company declined to estimate the cost of the recall, only to say it had accounted for the costs in the fourth quarter of 2018. Fiat Chrysler has recalled 862,520 gas-powered vehicles after on-road testing showed they might not meet emissions standards.

The report comes not long after a shoddy launch of Google's latest tablet running its Chrome operating system (OS): the Pixel Slate.

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. The Pixel Slate was a weird Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard, made as a competitor to the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro. Still, the Pixelbook, with its aluminum chassis and high-end screen, was seen as a model for what a premium, Mac-like Chromebook could look like. The longtime tech reviewer Walt Mossberg said that the Pixel C represents "an object lesson in what Google shouldn't do if it pursues home-grown integration of hardware and software".

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