This will have a massive impact on Google's hardware business as BI reports that projects on which the company was actively working on are now cancelled. 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.
Among the affected employees who were given notice of the cutbacks in the last two weeks are hardware engineers, technical program managers, and those who support program managers. Google told dozens of employees working on its hardware division to find new jobs.
Manufacturing roles within Create were not reportedly not impacted by the recent downsizing, which indicates that Google's near term product lineup may be unaffected. Since the market is insanely competitive and margins are low, it seems Google decided that perhaps it would be best to concentrate its efforts on its products that are doing well for now.
As Business Insider reports, this "roadmap pushout" now raises questions about the extent of Google's commitment to building its own line of laptops and tablets. This despite the fact that the tech giant has enjoyed some degree of hardware success thanks to products like its Pixel smartphones and smart speakers that compete against Amazon's dominance in that market. The Pixel Slate was a weird Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard, made as a competitor to the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro.
To be clear, the employee-shifting that's been reported seems to be concentrated for now within Google's tablet and laptop teams.
The Pixelbook raised eyebrows at its launch, given its high-cost (starting at $999) relative to its limited capabilities (the Pixelbook is a Chromebook, meaning it runs on Google's Chrome OS software and is only capable of using internet-based applications).
The move comes after the group received pressure to turn Google Hardware into "a real business" from higher-ups at Google/Alphabet.