Google is reportedly shifting employees from its laptop and tablet hardware teams to other divisions within Google and Alphabet, according to Business Insider. The move is attributed to “roadmap cutbacks,” and is expected to impact “dozens” of employees outside of manufacturing roles, which suggests that Google may not be expanding much beyond its current lineup of the Pixelbook laptop and the Pixel Slate tablet. Google declined to comment.
The BI report says impacted employees include hardware engineers and technical program managers who have seen their projects canceled over the past two weeks. Those employees were also reportedly told to find temporary projects to work on, moving into other teams like the Pixel smartphone. Other hardware products that Google manufactures include the Home line of smart speakers; Nest thermostats, door bells, security cameras, and smoke alarms; Chromecast dongles; Google Wi-Fi routers; and the Daydream VR headset.
It’s unlikely that Google will abandon laptops and tablets entirely — it still works with other manufacturers to make budget Chromebooks. But given that both the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook have gotten only lukewarm reviews, it’s reasonable to believe that Google wants to invest more in better software and other successful divisions like the Pixel smartphone before further expanding its computing lineup.