Pixelbook begone? Google reportedly reduces in-house computer production

Google Pixel Slate
Image Credit: TechRadar

Google’s computer-focused hardware efforts may not be panning out for the company like its smartphone business has, as Business Insider reports it has asked staff on those projects to temporarily find other work within the company.

Anonymous sources have told Business Insider that Google has made these requests to dozens of employees in its Google Create division, which is responsible for products like the Google Pixelbook and Pixel Slate. This team reportedly had a “bunch of stuff in the works,” meaning it’s likely that several hardware projects in development have been shelved as a result.

The report comes not long after a shoddy launch of Google’s latest tablet running its Chrome operating system (OS): the Pixel Slate. Was reception to the tablet so poor that it scared Google away from computer hardware entirely – at least for now? Only Google knows that answer.

Don’t worry, Chromebooks will be fine

This news certainly puts Google’s computer hardware efforts into question, but don’t think for a second that Google will lift its foot from the pedal on Chrome OS and Chromebooks on the whole. 

In the education and budget spaces, Chromebooks rule the roost. Google makes little to no money on licensing the software, but the third-party devices that use it remain among the most accessible portals into Google’s suite of paid services and advertising-rich search engine.

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.

It’s also important to keep in mind that, according to Business Insider’s sources, this move is a temporary one. So, Google could very well return to making excellent laptops … someday.

Via The Inquirer

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.