Google Makes Hardware a Second-Class Citizen, Several Devices Now in Doubt

The Google team behind Pixelbook and Pixel Slate just got slashed

Since its introduction in 2016, the Made by Google initiative has led to a number of successful products ranging from smartphones to smart speakers. It is possible that Google may have been working on other related hardware initiatives to fill out its previous product roadmap and may have made a decision to concentrate exclusively on a more limited hardware program.

The affected workers have been told to seek temporary roles within other Google or Alphabet teams.

A report from Business Insider claims that Google has axed "dozens" of employees from its laptop and tablet division.

Over the past few years, Google has been pushing deeper into the hardware business with products like the Pixelbook, Pixel Slate, multiple Google Homes, and of course, Pixel phones, with the latter getting a big boost thanks to Google's $1.1 billion (£820 million) acquisition of tech and personnel from HTC last year. Already, these "floating" employees have been seeking roles within the company's smartphone division, Pixel, and other Alphabet companies, sources say. 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. Google hasn't offered any official comment on the matter or indicated that there are any plans to end either the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate product lines.

Son’s ‘sad’ tweet boosts business for dad’s new doughnut shop
The restaurant holds a five-star Yelp rating, with customers praising the donuts, the kolaches, and the warmth of the owners. Saturday, a son tweeted about his father's new donut shop and how his dad was very sad that no one was coming to buy donuts.

This does not mean we will see Google's Chromebook running Chrome OS going away.

Google's first Pixel device, the Chromebook Pixel laptop, was announced in 2013. That's certainly one interpretation of reports that have emerged from within the company suggesting Google seems to be trimming its product portfolio, or is about to.

To be clear, the employee-shifting that's been reported seems to be concentrated for now within Google's tablet and laptop teams. Most Chromebooks that are not manufactured by Google itself are much lower priced, like Samsung's Chromebook Plus which starts at $499.

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