Google Hardware makes cuts to laptop and tablet development, cancels products

Google's Pixelbook

The affected employees allegedly include hardware engineers and technical program managers and have been asked to find new roles temporarily, which means the change might not be permanent.

Over the past few years, Google has been pushing deeper into the hardware business with products like the Pixelbook, Pixel Slate, multiple Google Homes, and of course, Pixel phones, with the latter getting a big boost thanks to Google's $1.1 billion (£820 million) acquisition of tech and personnel from HTC last year. 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. In fact, some of the staff working on Google's other hardware efforts in the Create team have now joined the Pixel team, according to company insiders.

This assumption is supported by internal sources who stated that, prior to the recent cutbacks, Create had a "bunch of stuff in the works" but will now focus primarily on finishing its near-term projects.

Google's Hardware division is run by Rick Osterloh and is expected to launch a game streaming console later this month. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising.

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An internal source close to Business Insider told that Google is now going through "roadmap cutbacks" and hence the decision.

To be clear, the employee-shifting that's been reported seems to be concentrated for now within Google's tablet and laptop teams. Instead, Google will likely invest more in Chrome OS software, while the company would continue to work with device manufacturers to build laptops running it. 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.

That said, while Google appears to be slowing down its hardware release plans, it doesn't seem to be giving up on making gadgets altogether.

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