Pixelbook begone? Google reportedly reduces in-house computer production

Ceria Alfonso
Marcha 14, 2019

Google's in-house laptop/tablet gambit may not be panning out as well as the company had hoped.

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.

According to Business Insider, "dozens of engineers and program managers" in the Create division are being helped to find other temporary roles at Google or Alphabet, Google's parent company.

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Google's Hardware division is run by Rick Osterloh and is expected to launch a game streaming console later this month.

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.

According to Business Insider, Google is now in the process of implementing a number of "roadmap cutbacks". The division is responsible for the Pixel phones, Google Home speakers, the Chromecast, Google Wi-Fi, and lately, the Nest smart home division. The hardware market for laptops is fiercely competitive, and all of Google's (overpriced) efforts in this space have failed to capture the market. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division. 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 Pixel Slate was a weird Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard, made as a competitor to the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro. The Pixelbook has been well-received by reviewers, however, many have questioned the value of having such high-performance hardware dedicated to running Chrome OS. 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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