Hardware engineers, technical program managers, and other employees close to these areas are reportedly being told to seek other positions within the company, including in the smartphone division.
Employees from Google's "Create" team - an internal hardware division responsible for developing and manufacturing Google's laptop and tablet products - have been asked to find new projects and temporary roles within Alphabet.
In a blow to fans of Google's high-end ChromeOS-based hardware, Business Insider reports that Google has made substantial cutbacks to the team that develops its Pixelbook and Pixel Slate devices. 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.
Is the hardware honeymoon over at Google? Google hasn't offered any official comment on the matter or indicated that there are any plans to end either the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate product lines.
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. The Pixelbook has been well-received by reviewers, however, many have questioned the value of having such high-performance hardware dedicated to running Chrome OS.
If anything, this is Google finally recognizing that ultra-luxury devices are not an ideal container for its Chrome OS, not to mention that its OS needs more work before it's readily available for use on both touch devices and traditional computers. The longtime tech reviewer Walt Mossberg said that the Pixel C represents "an object lesson in what Google shouldn't do if it pursues home-grown integration of hardware and software".
It's also important to keep in mind that, according to Business Insider's sources, this move is a temporary one. Since then, sources tell us that pressure has increased to make hardware at Google into a "real business".