Is Google giving up on making its own Chrome OS devices?

Judy Cobb
March 14, 2019

The affected employees allegedly include hardware engineers and technical program managers and have been asked to find new roles temporarily, which means the change might not be permanent.

The restructuring involves Google's "Create" division, which is responsible for developing and manufacturing the Pixelbook laptop and Pixel Slate tablet amongst the company's wider swath of "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.

For anyone who has been following Google's hardware, this report probably doesn't come as a surprise, because despite releasing ambitious devices like the Pixelbook and Pixel C, there's always been a major issue or two holding those gadgets back from mainstream appeal.

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A Google spokesperson declined Business Insider's request for comment. One source claims that the Create team had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and that the movement of employees away from the project is indicative of the company "par [ing] down the portfolio" of products.

The "roadmap pushout", as one source familiar with the matter described the move to Business Insider, raises questions about the extent of Google's commitment to building its own line of laptops and tablets, a fiercely competitive market with thin razor profit margins. These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division. It seems as though Google will launch more Android devices even before it announces Pixel 4 late in 2019.

With the Pixel C, Google attempted to re-imagine what a portable 2-in-1 could be by designing a detachable tablet that connected to its keyboard dock via a tilting, magnetic flap that functioned sort of like a reverse kickstand. The Pixelbook, like the Chromebook Pixel before it, is just a high-end Chrome OS laptop.

Google is the disputed king when it comes to software and associated technologies, but the same can not be said for hardware.

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