Perhaps premium Chromebooks weren’t the way to go after all. According to sources within the company, Google is getting its vision checked when it comes to laptops and tablets — but it also leaves the door open to re-evaluate how it will tackle those form factors.
Business Insider reports that the internal “Create” unit — in particular, the employees responsible for R&D and manufacturing of products such as the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate — has seen its ranks cut by “dozens” over the past two weeks. The culprit for the cuts is the cancellation of several projects. In the words of one source, this means that Google will likely “pare down the portfolio” of its own-make tablets and laptops.
Hardware engineers, technical program managers and managerial support staff have been told to look for “temporary” roles elsewhere within Google or the great Alphabet organization. Some have signed up with the separate Pixel phone team. Others have moved elsewhere.
The “temporary” stipulation is especially interesting at this stage because it’s been known that Google has been developing an original, non-Java operating system, dubbed Fuchsia OS, and has been testing it on all sorts of motherboards and form factors — including for tablets and laptops.
Alphabet has seen some successes in advancing its “Made by Google” hardware from the Pixel phones to Nest smart home appliances. However, Android and Chrome OS have been seen as weak offerings on medium-sized form factors when Apple’s iPad series and Microsoft’s Surface convertibles already have market leads in their respective verticals with strong, utility-based software.