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Google is reportedly scaling back its laptop and tablet divisions

14 March 2019

The move is expected to affect dozens of employees, ranging from hardware engineers to program managers. That's certainly one interpretation of reports that have emerged from within the company suggesting Google seems to be trimming its product portfolio, or is about to.

It is worth noting that the "roadmap cutbacks" does not have any role to play in hardware division other than the tablet and laptop and that is a sigh of relief for employees occupied with projects related to Pixel smartphones, smart home devices and wearables.

Google's Hardware division is run by Rick Osterloh and is expected to launch a game streaming console later this month.

According to one source, "a bunch of stuff was in the works" that will most likely now be shelved as part of "roadmap cutbacks" - essentially ending work on products that were previously planned for late 2019 and beyond. The hardware market for laptops is fiercely competitive, and all of Google's (overpriced) efforts in this space have failed to capture the market.

Today, the Create division is responsible for the Pixelbook laptop and Pixel Slate tablet amongst the company's wider swath of "Made by Google" products.

For now, Google is asking affected employees to seek temporary roles, meaning that the company could revert the alleged downsizing down the line.

An internal source close to Business Insider told that Google is now going through "roadmap cutbacks" and hence the decision. Still, the Pixelbook, with its aluminum chassis and high-end screen, was seen as a model for what a premium, Mac-like Chromebook could look like. But with the Pixel C limited to running stock Android instead of Chrome OS like you get on more modern Google-based convertibles, and equipped with a buggy and often uncomfortable keyboard, the Pixel C was ill-prepared at the time to go up against competing products like the Surface 3.

The move comes after the group received pressure to turn Google Hardware into "a real business" from higher-ups at Google/Alphabet.

Google is reportedly scaling back its laptop and tablet divisions