Google Pixelbook & Pixel Slate Development Put On Hold & Possibly Cancelled
Google is scaling back its hardware efforts as the company has begun moving key personnel off the Google Pixelbook and Pixel Slate projects into other areas of the company.
According to a new report from Business Insider, Google is working on downsizing its laptop and tablet hardware divisions called the Google Create team. This team has been responsible for the development of the "Made by Google" products since 2016.
Hardware Engineers, Technical Program Managers, Program Manager Supporters are being asked to transfer to other groups within Alphabet. This could signal an end for the Google Pixelbook and Pixel Slate devices.
Dozens of Google employees working on the company's Create team — an internal hardware division responsible for developing and manufacturing Google's laptop and tablet products — have been told to find new projects within Google or its parent company Alphabet amid what sources describe as "road-map cutbacks."
Among the affected employees who were given notice of the cutbacks in the past two weeks are hardware engineers, technical program managers, and those who support program managers. Sources say that projects have been canceled within the laptop and tablet division, prompting the changes, but that team members have been instructed to find new roles temporarily within Google or Alphabet.
The team was currently working on many upcoming projects when this announcement was made internally. With key members of the team moving to other sections of the company it seems clear Google plans on killing off these products in the future.
The Pixel line of devices has had a somewhat troubled past. The Pixel smartphone is the only highly successful device to come out of this division, with the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate seeing low sales numbers and lacklustre reviews online.
The Pixel Slate was just recently announced in October of last year so its surprising the company could cancel further development so quickly unless sales numbers didn't support it going forward. It's also possible Google wants to go in a different direction for their hardware line in the future.
With the development of the new Fuchsia operating system by Google, is seems counterintuitive to cancel these two hardware products. Fuchsia is a new operating system by Google designed to run on Smartphones, Tablets, and Laptops all with a similar interface and applications. Without a mainstream tablet or laptop to showcase the new OS on it could be signal a troubled future for Google.