Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

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

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

While Google hasn't commented on the report, it looks like the Mountain View-based company is just making hardware a second-class citizen of its ecosystem, trying instead to focus on projects that align with its push for continued growth.

According to one source, "a bunch of stuff was in the works" that will most likely now be shelved as part of "roadmap cutbacks" - essentially ending work on products that were previously planned for late 2019 and beyond.

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.

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However, with Google allegedly abstaining from outright laying off employees or eliminating their positions, Google seems to be erring on the side of caution while still giving itself the chance to re-up its investment in hardware at a later date. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division.

According to Business Insider, Google is now in the process of implementing a number of "roadmap cutbacks".

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. Other divisions within the company's hardware product area (known internally as HWPA) include Pixel (for smartphones), Home (for smart home devices, including Nest), and Wearables. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising. Both the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate ran Chrome OS, and they are the company's only products supporting that operating system. 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". 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.

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