Google is cutting back the laptop and tablet division of its hardware group, suggesting that the search behemoth is giving up on making its own hardware for Chrome OS.
According to Business Insider, "dozens of engineers and program managers" in the Create division are being helped to find other temporary roles at Google or Alphabet, Google's parent company.
The stress on these being temporary roles suggests that Google could need them for other hardware work in the near future, though of course this could be working on Google's Android devices, Wear OS, Google Home or new areas. It seems as though Google will launch more Android devices even before it announces Pixel 4 late in 2019.
According to one source, "a bunch of stuff was in the works" that will most likely now be shelved as part of "roadmap cutbacks" - essentially ending work on products that were previously planned for late 2019 and beyond.
Chromebooks have been a modest success across the board and have a sizeable foothold in education. But those are mainly third-party Chromebooks from manufacturers such as Acer, Asus and HP.
Google's own laptop and tablet hardware has flopped. Both 2013's Chromebook Pixel and 2017's Pixelbook were too expensive and even though they were well-received, it doesn't appear they've sold in volume. 2018's Pixel Slate, a Chrome OS tablet, has failed by all accounts and, while we loved its power in our Pixel Slate review, the high price point prevents it from being a serious iPad and Surface challenger.