Google Hardware makes cuts to laptop and tablet development, cancels products
14 March, 2019, 06:28 | Author: Sammy Rose
It is possible that Google may have been working on other related hardware initiatives to fill out its previous product roadmap and may have chose to concentrate exclusively on a more limited hardware program.
Manufacturing roles within Create were not reportedly not impacted by the recent downsizing, which indicates that Google's near term product lineup may be unaffected. Members of the Create team are said to be eyeing positions at the Pixel team and other Alphabet companies.
After several false starts, including a short lived acquisition of phone maker Motorola from 2012 to 2014, Google declared its seriousness about hardware in 2016 when it hired Rick Osterloh to head up a new hardware group. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division. The company's Pixel range of smartphones have been received well and its Home smart speakers have been really successful, but apparently, not all the hardware units are as profitable. The report says that Google had "a bunch of stuff in the works" that now probably won't see the light of day. Both the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate ran Chrome OS, and they are the company's only products supporting that operating system.
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Rumors of a Pixelbook 2 have been swirling since the company's hardware event last October though it has yet to be released. The tablet is, well, a Google tablet, and as usual, it debuted to a lukewarm reception. While there is no indication that Google plans to abandon the Pixelbook, the staff reductions suggest that Google is unlikely to flesh out its in-house line of Chromebooks with a wider variety of products and prices.
Google is the disputed king when it comes to software and associated technologies, but the same can not be said for hardware.
Although the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook boast a premium design and pack decent hardware, their value proposition is low and software optimizations were questionable and often show the company's lack of commitment towards improving Chrome OS. So, Google could very well return to making excellent laptops ... someday.
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