GOOGLE LOOKS to be cutting back on its branded hardware, as staff working on the 'Made By Google' lines are pulled away from the project.
Reports suggest that "dozens" of staff members are being advised to look for other roles at Alphabet Castle, as the company seems to be trimming down the Create division, which is responsible for the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate models.
Although both devices have been warmly received, they are high-end devices that don't run Windows, giving them a limited audience of rich but pedantic people.
The "roadmap cutbacks" that are being suggested will see several projects believed to be in development being shelved.
One chink of light is that the team are being asked to redeploy to temporary posts inside the organisation, suggesting that Google wants to hedge its bets on hardware and possibly restart development after a moratorium.
Other lines are unlikely to be affected and we should still see a Pixel 4 later in the year, and the much leaked Pixel Lite and Pixel Watch are likely to go ahead as planned too. Nest, which now comes under the Made by Google fold, is still largely an island and is unlikely to have its roadmap changed by this move.
The Pixelbook was a call to arms when it launched, but has always been affected by the "lag factor" of running an operating system that was neither Windows, MacOS or a standard Linux - although it can now run apps built for the latter.
As such, its 'reassuringly expensive' pricing makes it less appealing to users who want a machine that 'just works' with the myriad of apps and services designed for older and more prevalent operating systems.
The Pixel Slate, the company's first attempt at a 2-in-1 was greeted with similar 'yes, but dat price' enthusiasm when we first saw it launch alongside the Pixel 3 range.
Google is yet to confirm what, if anything all this means, and given that the group was working on unannounced products, we may never know. μ
Slack, hack and crack
A flaw in the protocol affects iOS, macOS and Windows 10
Wig wearer has issue with non-wig-wearer