The move is expected to affect dozens of employees, ranging from hardware engineers to program managers.
According to a report from Business Insider, Google is pulling employees from their laptop and tablet hardware teams, placing them on other projects as the company addresses "roadmap cutbacks".
BI writes that Google has started an ample restructuring process in the Create division, which is responsible for creating laptops and tablets like the Pixelbook and the Pixel Slate. One source claims that the Create team had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and that the movement of employees away from the project is indicative of the company "par [ing] down the portfolio" of products. Given the competition within the laptop market, this isn't too surprising.
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By asking employees to seek temporary, rather than permanent, new roles, Google may be leaving itself flexibility to boost staffing on the Create hardware team in the future. Google has repeatedly stressed it is in the hardware business for the long run, even as the efforts have driven up expenses and weighed down the rich profit margins of Google's online ad business.
Manufacturing plans haven't been adjusted, however, which means that the products that Google plans to release in the short term wouldn't be affected by Google's restructuring.
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. The Pixelbook, like the Chromebook Pixel before it, is just a high-end Chrome OS laptop.
The move comes after the group received pressure to turn Google Hardware into "a real business" from higher-ups at Google/Alphabet.