Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Industry | By Dora Warner

Pixelbook begone? Google reportedly reduces in-house computer production

Pixelbook begone? Google reportedly reduces in-house computer production

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. It's been suggested by several people familiar with the matter that Google's informed "dozens" of engineers and program managers that they should seek employment elsewhere within Alphabet.

Perhaps that's why the company is reportedly reassigning some employees from the "Create" team to other units within it.

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 confirmed that the company indeed had "a bunch of stuff in the works" prior to the employee shift.

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Considering its origins in search and focus on advertising, Google is actually also responsible for a fair bit of hardware these days.

The laptop market is an extremely competitive one, and Google's Pixelbook made for a tough sell given its high price tag and relatively limited capabilities. Already, these "floating" employees have been seeking roles within the company's smartphone division, Pixel, and other Alphabet companies, sources say.

Manufacturing roles on Create were not impacted by the recent downsizing, signaling Google's near term product lineup will likely not change. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division.

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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.

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

If anything, this is Google finally recognizing that ultra-luxury devices are not an ideal container for its Chrome OS, not to mention that its OS needs more work before it's readily available for use on both touch devices and traditional computers.

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