Google 'Doubles Down' on Pixel Hardware, Cuts Google Assistant Support
Tuesday October 18, 2022. 11:25 PM , from Slashdot
A new report from The Information details more changes Google CEO Sundar Pichai's budget cuts are having across the company, with some divisions surviving and others getting ominous resource cuts. From a report: First, we have news that the hardware division, other than losing laptops, seems mostly safe. Google's biggest Android partner, Samsung, is in decline in many established markets, and Apple is hitting an all-time high in US market share last quarter. The report says Google views Apple as more of a problem than it has in the past, thanks to worries that regulators might shut down the usual multi-billion-dollar Google/Apple agreement to put Google Search on iPhones. If iPhones stop showing Google ads, the rise of Apple and fall of Samsung is one of the few things that could actually be a major problem for Google's revenue.
According to the report, Google views itself as the solution to this problem. As a hedge against what the report calls the 'further decline' of Samsung, Google is 'doubling down' on its investment in Pixel hardware. Google is apparently doing this by 'moving product development and software engineering staff working on features for non-Google hardware to work on Google-branded devices.' The goal here is to not spend more money, so Google is apparently sacrificing partner devices to focus on the Pixel division. So what projects are seeing cuts? Google TV is one, with the report saying: 'Executives also have discussed moving some product managers working on Google TV software for television sets' to Wear OS and the Pixel Tablet. This is the only OS called out as specifically receiving less OS development. A lot of this report seems to focus on cuts to Google Assistant's support for specific form factors, which is strange since Google Assistant is more or less the same on every platform. The whole point of the Assistant is one reliable, predictable voice assistant that lives everywhere, and it's not clear what platform-specific support needs to be done other than whipping up an app that can receive audio and read back results.
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May, Sun 28 - 11:34 CEST