Hardware Engineers, Technical Program Managers and related supporting staff have been given notice of these "roadmap cutbacks". The tablet is, well, a Google tablet, and as usual, it debuted to a lukewarm reception. Already, these "floating" employees have been seeking roles within the company's smartphone division, Pixel, and other Alphabet companies, sources say. 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.
The laptop market is an extremely competitive one, and Google's Pixelbook made for a tough sell given its high price tag and relatively limited capabilities.
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.
Nevertheless, Google has begun reassigning employees away from is tablet and laptop division. Members of the Create team are said to be eyeing positions at the Pixel team and other Alphabet companies. Instead, Google will likely invest more in Chrome OS software, while the company would continue to work with device manufacturers to build laptops running it.
A report like this raises more questions than it answers, so we'll make sure to keep an eye out for any follow-up coverage as it comes out.
Rumors of a Pixelbook 2 have been swirling since the company's hardware event last October though it has yet to be released. That's certainly one interpretation of reports that have emerged from within the company suggesting Google seems to be trimming its product portfolio, or is about to.
Google's tablets meanwhile have struggled to hit the right note with consumers. 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.
Downsizing its laptop and tablet division comes nearly three years after Google unified its hardware efforts under the leadership of Osterloh.