Sci-tech

Uh Oh, Looks Like Google's Hardware Team Might Be in Trouble

Uh Oh, Looks Like Google's Hardware Team Might Be in Trouble”

The hardware market for laptops is fiercely competitive, and all of Google's (overpriced) efforts in this space have failed to capture the market.

Considering these cutbacks aren't necessarily permanent - Google has asked employees to seek temporary roles within other divisions - there's still a possibility that certain people will be transferred back to the Create team after the current situation has been assessed.

After several false starts, including a short lived acquisition of phone maker Motorola from 2012 to 2014, Google declared its seriousness about hardware in 2016 when it hired Rick Osterloh to head up a new hardware group. The company's Pixel range of smartphones have been received well and its Home smart speakers have been really successful, but apparently, not all the hardware units are as profitable. However, shortly after launch, numerous users reported issues with the Pixel Slate's performance, particularly when using the device in laptop mode, which forced Google to address the lag later via software updates.

Manufacturing roles on Create were not impacted by the recent downsizing, signaling Google's near term product lineup will likely not change.

Following the Pixel C came the Pixelbook, which was widely regarded as one of the best, most luxurious Chromebooks ever made.

However, at least once source said that there was a "bunch of stuff in the works" that may now no longer see the light of day. 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. This would suggest that Google has only canceled long-term products and has the intention of completing its near-term devices.

Google's tablets meanwhile have struggled to hit the right note with consumers. So, Google could very well return to making excellent laptops ... someday.



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