Tech

Google is reportedly scaling back its laptop and tablet divisions

Google is reportedly scaling back its laptop and tablet divisions

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 team reportedly had a "bunch of stuff in the works", meaning it's likely that several hardware projects in development have been shelved as a result.

The stress on these being temporary roles suggests that Google could need them for other hardware work in the near future, though of course this could be working on Google's Android devices, Wear OS, Google Home or new areas.

Among the affected employees who were given notice of the cutbacks in the last two weeks are hardware engineers, technical program managers, and those who support program managers.

Considering these cutbacks aren't necessarily permanent - Google has asked employees to seek temporary roles within other divisions - there's still a possibility that certain people will be transferred back to the Create team after the current situation has been assessed.

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

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The "roadmap pushout", as one source familiar with the matter described the move to Business Insider, raises questions about the extent of Google's commitment to building its own line of laptops and tablets, a fiercely competitive market with thin razor profit margins. This despite the fact that the tech giant has enjoyed some degree of hardware success thanks to products like its Pixel smartphones and smart speakers that compete against Amazon's dominance in that market.

To be clear, the employee-shifting that's been reported seems to be concentrated for now within Google's tablet and laptop teams.

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

Google is the disputed king when it comes to software and associated technologies, but the same can not be said for hardware.


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