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Google reportedly shifting employees away from tablet, laptop division

The employee shift is said to have taken place following "roadmap cutbacks" at Google's Create hardware division.

Published onMarch 13, 2019

The Google Pixelbook is the product of its Create division.

Google’s hardware division has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks to the success of its smart speakers and Pixel smartphones. But it looks like the company might be slimming down its hardware portfolio, as the firm is reportedly moving employees from its tablet and laptop division.

According to Business Insider (subscription required), citing “several people familiar with the matter,” Google has told dozens of employees at its Create hardware division to find jobs elsewhere within Google and Alphabet at large. Affected employees apparently include hardware engineers and technical program engineers, but manufacturing roles are reportedly safe thus far.

The Create unit is said to be responsible for tablets and laptops, namely the Pixelbook series and Pixel Slate. These devices generally offered a premium design and fast internals, albeit at a steep price.

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Sources told the outlet that the move comes amid “roadmap cutbacks,” suggesting that the firm is drastically cutting back on these devices. One source confirmed that the company indeed had “a bunch of stuff in the works” prior to the employee shift.

News of the shift also comes after Google hired Motorola’s Rick Osterloh to head up its hardware business in 2016. Back then, the executive said Google was in the hardware business “for the long run.” And to be fair, the company’s Pixel phones and Google Home speakers seem to be thriving over the years.

We’ve contacted the company for confirmation of the news and will update the article if/when we receive a response. But if this is indeed true, then you might need to opt for third party devices to scratch your ChromeOS itch in the future.

NEXT: Google’s new Lookout app uses AI to assist the blind and visually impaired

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