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

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

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

However, employees including engineers, program managers, support staff won't have to look for jobs outside the Google campus as the instruction was to find other projects within its parent company Alphabet. These transfers are reportedly due to project cancellations within the Google Create team, an in-house hardware division that developed and manufactured the Pixelbook, the Pixel Slate, and other "Made by Google" products.

As for its software teams and Chrome OS in particular, none of those employees seem to have been affected by this move.

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. There are a few different but related explanations given for the personnel shifts, with one source confirming Google had "a bunch of stuff in the works" before the decision to move employees away from the unit was made. The hardware market for laptops is fiercely competitive, and all of Google's (overpriced) efforts in this space have failed to capture the market.

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

The restructure does not affect the "Pixel" team, which is focused on developing Google's smartphone efforts.

Manufacturing roles on Create were not impacted by the recent downsizing, signaling Google's near term product lineup will likely not change.

Back in May 2016, Google first announced that it would be releasing updates to Chrome OS that would allow Android apps on Chromebook. This would suggest that Google has only canceled long-term products and has the intention of completing its near-term devices.

Google is the disputed king when it comes to software and associated technologies, but the same can not be said for hardware. The company launched its Pixel Slate - a tablet that acts like a laptop, meant to compete with Microsoft's Surface Pro and Apple's iPad Pro - to a similar, cold reception.