It's hard to argue that Google hasn't been a significantly different company under Larry Page's leadership. If nothing else, it has certainly become more directly competitive. Mountain View has generally (though not always ) preferred to be passive in its approach to other companies, allowing the product to speak for itself (whether for good or ill), rather than outright antagonize others. Apparently all that reservation was just saving up for when Page would take the helm and let the zingers fly. In a Wired interview, the CEO had this to say on the subject of Apple:

Wired: Steve Jobs felt competitive enough to claim that he was willing to “go to thermonuclear war” on Android.

Page: How well is that working?

Wired: Do you think that Android’s huge lead in market share is decisive?

Page: Android has been very successful, and we’re very excited about it.

Emphasis added. Also: ouch! Of course, the argument likely won't end there. After all, Apple certainly makes more money off of its iPhones than Google makes off of Android. However, there is also worry that Apple's growth in handset sales may be peaking in some markets, whereas Google continues to generate income with each handset that runs Android for as long as its able to collect data and target ads.

Either way, though, it's difficult to argue that the 'thermonuclear war' was capable of hindering Android in any significant way. So, alright, Page. We'll grant you that one. You earned that bit of snark.

The verbal smackdowns don't stop there, though. While speaking on the subject of Google+, the CEO had some choice words to say both in the defense of his company's social network, and in criticism of its primary competitor:

Wired: One area where people say that Google is indeed motivated by competition is the social realm, where in the past two years you have been working hard in a field dominated by a single rival, Facebook. That’s not the case?

Page: It’s not the way I think about it. We had real issues with how our users shared information, how they expressed their identity, and so on. And, yeah, they’re a company that’s strong in that space. But they’re also doing a really bad job on their products. For us to succeed, is it necessary for some other company to fail? No. We’re actually doing something different. I think it’s outrageous to say that there’s only space for one company in these areas. When we started with search, everyone said, “You guys are gonna fail, there’s already five search companies.” We said, “We are a search company, but we’re doing something different.” That’s how I see all these areas.

Wired: What’s your evaluation of Google+?

Page: I’m very happy with how it has gone. We’re working on a lot of really cool stuff. A lot of it has been copied by our competitors, so I think we’re doing a good job.

It should be no surprise that Company A thinks its own products are better than Company B's. However, hearing a CEO say that a competitor is just plain doing a bad job is somewhat startling. Especially when said competitor's userbase outnumbers your own by nearly 10:1. He does have a point, though. Facebook didn't have near as much focus on selective sharing until Google introduced the Circles concept. And it would be legitimately shocking if the big F wasn't working on a Hangouts competitor.

Still, this is some next-level snark from Larry. The full interview is a great read on the state of Google and what Mountain View wants to achieve. It's also fantastic if you like your tech news with a side of corporate cat fights.

Source: Wired

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Mauro D’Amico

    G+ IS something different. I rather read things i'm interested in postet by people i don't know personaly than reading thins about things i don't care. Also things....

    • Sumpter Carter

      Amen, Amen, and Amen again. I get so fed up with useless junk on Facebook. Been using Google+ since it was in beta, and there have always been interesting posts on there. I'm fine if it continues like it is.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    Facebook is just a tip

  • Edward Lewis

    execution and polish on Google i think are much better on Google plus. It also feels like they put a bunch of their search infrastructural in the background of it Facebook feels very hacked together and I would wager the coding behind the two sites would show fb to be a mess. I could be completely wrong though.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    Can the media stop dragging out Steve Jobs' corpse to pantomime the thermonuclear comment yet? Jesus Bloomberg, give it a rest - at least frame the question differently. The guy's dead, and unless he's running Apple from beyond the grave via Facetime seance, what he said isn't really relevant anymore. "Hey Larry, what do you think about what this guy dead guy said once to some dude that was writing his biography? DOES IT MAKE YOU MAD?!" They're just trolling for an equally hyperbolic response.

    And yes, Facebook's products suck lately. Serious stagnation going on, and social graph search is emblematic of the fact that they really don't seem to know what to do with all the info and users they've amassed. It's a mess. Google+ seems to slowly be gaining steam, and that's just bad news for Facebook.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I'm sorry, but the idea of a facetime seance is cracking me up. lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510101374 Jeetu K

        nobody said it ??? ill say it .. iCoffin (c)

    • http://bitshift.tumblr.com/ esjay

      Social graph search is a by product of the overall disdain for Facebook's privacy policies. If Facebook does too much with their data, it would blowback. The nice thing about the circles paradigm is that sharing and reuse is intuitively implied.

    • fenrir

      that's the price of being popular, people still bring out his name even after he's dead.

    • Tomi Golob

      Indeed...I wish they bury their messaging platform under one single banner, so to speak...for Christ's sake ,the Google+ page uses Talk ... it's ridiculous. I mean what were they thinking ? At least they could make it so that if I message somebody with G+ messenger , the message would popup in the G+ page chat ! But nooooo, thats only for mobile phone clients... even worse is the fact that if you add people in the friends list , they come up in the Talk chat list...total mess. I stopped using these clients lately. So redundant ...I used them heavily for a few years but I went in favour to ChatON and Whatsapp

      • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

        it does that for me, pops up in the G+ chat interface on Chrome desktop. Or did you mean the phone app?

        • Tomi Golob

          That's weird...if I send a message from the g+ messenger for android, it doesn't popup for that person in the g+ web page ... also vice versa doesn't work. Point is : I want one single messenger ! :D
          Would be awesome if it was integrated in the main Messaging app (kind of like an unified inbox for sms/mms and IM)

          • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

            For me, anyone messaging me in Gtalk or G+ Messenger I get a interstitial popup in both Gmail and in Google+. I'm using Chrome with some Google-created plugins so that may be a factor or not.
            On my Galaxy Nexus, yes, if someone sends me a message, Google Talk picks it up.
            I keep hearing buzz that they do intend to merge the communication channels of GoogleTalk, Google Voice, and Google+Messenger (and hangouts) but perhaps that's wishful gossip. Everything seems to happen "eventually" with Google, so we'll see.

          • Tomi Golob

            But that's my point...I would like that I get a message on the G+ messenger for mobile. And I confirm that the G+ site uses the Talk messaging protocol...so basically the G+ Messenger only delivers instant messages to other Android users who have that messenger (not on Talk). If they don't have it they get an email and if they reply it comes in my gmail inbox...it is too fragmented.
            Yes I heard that too...I've been asking for this since g+ went pubblic, so to speak

          • http://www.facebook.com/vivecuervo7 Isaac Dedini

            I believe this is essentially what Windows does (Threads, I think it's called), and I have been wanting this for a very, very long time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mickey.jones.125 Mickey Jones

      I agree with your point, but your statement:

      "Can the media stop dragging out Steve Jobs' corpse to pantomime... unless he's running Apple from beyond the grave via Facetime seance"

      Was a tad graphic and a bit of hyperbole itself. Yet morbidly funny.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667020551 Jose Torres

      ...well they ARE making a movie about the guy. Won't be hearing the end of Jobs anytime soon.

      • OmarioAmriky

        You mean Warm Bodies? A lot of zombies are in it though...

  • Cormac Curran

    I personally don't like fb. Only use fb for messaging. Its Web page, hate it. It's android app, never works. Even the messenger app force closes on Android 4.2.1 a lot. Wish more of my friends and family would move to google+ so I could delete my FB account a together!

    • Tomi Golob

      Maybe the FB app works well on their devices?

      • Matthew Fry

        Works fine on mine (S3)... although I can't say that I really put it through its paces by any means.

    • Sootie

      Delete your facebook mate, you have other ways of talking to and interacting with your friends all of which are much more engaging than facebook. I deleted my facebook 2 years ago now and I have never regretted it for a moment.

    • Asphyx

      My feelings on Facebook is...
      If I wanted to stay in touch with all of those people I would have!

  • Deltaechoe

    Apple: What did you say?

    Larry Page: *pulls out megaphone* Ahem, I said, how would you like to suck my balls?

    • Sava D.

      made my freaking day. thanks a ton ! :)))

    • http://profiles.google.com/pbooker117 Phillip Booker

      You forgot the "Mr. Garrison" part

      • Nick Wells

        "Ahem, I said, how would you like to suck my BAWLLZ, Mr. Cook?"

  • Andrew Loiacono

    Why do photos in facebook load so slow.....

    • Román Rodríguez

      Cuz' facebook sucks.

      • Tomi Golob

        It freakin sucks!!! I demand at least 30 people to confirm this

        • adi19956

          I confirm this as 1/30 this guy demands

        • http://twitter.com/TKfromCLE Terry Kessler

          2 of 30, chiming in.

        • OmarioAmriky

          3/30 = 1/10
          MATH MUTHAFUCKA!!!

          • Tomi Golob

            Hell yeah!

    • Tomi Golob

      Because... no, nevermind . It sucks . Period.

  • thartist

    Who says doing it differently is gonna make your product succeed?
    Google is still an internet services company making a social network. I'm sorry to say that, to the masses, such condition doesn't carve as strongly into the mind awareness as a company uniquely dedicated to it which by the way, started a few years before and had thousand of millions of users by the time Google + came as a response.
    Also Google's personality as a brand isn't inherently about social and teenage-y communication and has more of a tech related feel to it, so, while both may coexist, G+ isn't ever gonna be as successful as Facebook. We are talking about masses.
    Common sense.

    • Román Rodríguez


    • http://twitter.com/JayKingOfGay Jay, King of Gay

      That's already changing now that they have business pages and communities. It's integrating more and more with other Google services. Post a new blog? Share it with your circles. Upload a YouTube video? Share it with your circles. In the Play store you can see what apps/games/music/movies your friends have +1'd. Circles are in your Gmail, GoogleTalk, and Google Voice. Events and Hangouts show up in Google Calendar. It's harder to grasp, but as with all their other products, Google is playing the long game.

      • Matt

        hello steam roller...

    • http://twitter.com/08ight 0.8ight

      Give it one more year and you'll see how stupid your comment is! Even Paul Allen predicted that in 2013 Google+ we'll have >500 Million active users and >1 Billion registered.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mickey.jones.125 Mickey Jones

      Your scenario of teens and soccer moms staying on FB and serious social and tech content on G+ makes me giddy with excitement.

      BTW "thousand of millions" is now referred to as a billion

  • http://www.facebook.com/Icuii Keith Earns

    Facebook IS doing a bad job at supporting it's products, I'm not a google plus user (I'm posting this logged in from FB), but look at their apps and how notoriously bad they are. Google at least put effort into their app. As for apple, I have a homescreen on my device that doesn't look like an app drawer, I have full access to my OS, and my device runs great doing exactly what I want it to. Let apple continue and create competetion, I just wish they'd ditch retina gimmicks so android OEMs will go back to standard high res for the sake of battery life. HDMI out is there for a reason.

    • Sumpter Carter

      I seriously hope they stop at 1080P. Another issue with the heightened res is that they have to increase the processor muscle to keep it running smoothly, as well as the GPU muscle. In turn, they then have to make a bigger battery. All of this can result in a larger device. Hmm, I wonder why 5-6 inch devices are being pushed so heavily now?

      • Tomi Golob

        Because people like pancakes ?

      • http://www.facebook.com/Icuii Keith Earns

        1080p would be definitely be acceptable, ideally something like 1600x900 for 10 inch tablets with 16x9 aspect ratos. 720p could use some help on smaller fonts. 1080p fixes it, but like you said, it starts to tax the gpu. This is all the reason I haven't made the switch from tf prime to tf infinity. MWC is next month, I'm looking forward to tegra 4 transformer upgrades, but really hope asus doesn't go nuts with the resolution. The tablet is way too thin and the battery will spike.

      • Elias

        I'm ok with having screen sizes pushing mobile processors forward. I don't think a cellphone would benefit from something greater than 1080p so they should stop at 1080p, but greater resolutions are definitely fine for greater screens - such as they did with the perfect gorgeous screen of the nexus 10, which is an awesome tablet but lacks a bit of power to really deliver buttery gaming performance at that resolution.

  • funkyblue

    Where is the Nexus 4 stock? How about Google offer some customer service insteadof gloating ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/mickey.jones.125 Mickey Jones

      Anticipated demand exceeding supply is a problem, but a good problem.

    • Tomi Golob


  • http://twitter.com/TheChrisGlass Chris Glass

    Much like Twitter in the early days, the people who had a good community already got the most out of it. And the rest went into an empty hall and just shouted. As Google forces more people into the fold whether they realize it or not, with +1ing things, it's going to get sticky. Now, getting people to actually POST things? That's an uphill battle.

  • Dominik

    The way this article is written kind of reminds me how back in high school someone used to say something somewhat snarky to someone else without anyone paying attention, and then there'd be one or two jerks going "ooOOOOOoooo!!!" and it would just blow stuff out of proportion.

  • socialcarpet

    Meanwhile Apple and Microsoft make the same amount or more off of every Android phone sold as Google does. How well is that working, Larry?

    • toshistation

      and 80% of google's mobile ad revenue from search comes from iOS devices. I think they're doing fine.

  • coyote

    I'm g+ user (technically), but still not interested to use it :D
    and my fb account has been zombie for years. lol.

    personally I think fb has nicer UI than g+ . and it's more accessible for most people without smartphone.

  • http://twitter.com/Telanis_ Telanis

    Maybe he was referring to the Android Facebook app. Man that thing is crap.

  • John O’Connor

    I wouldn't necessarily call any of his comments snark, more like simply stating facts. Of course the exception would be "how well is that working?" But again I can't fault Larry for this as he has stated that FB is not necessarily a direct competitor but if push comes to shove he can point to the fact that some G+ are being directly copied by competitors.

    Insomuch as G

  • bse88

    Did he kinda suggest that Steve Jobs went to hell?

    • Jon Garrett

      He wasn't a Christian so yes, he's in hell.

  • Flumentia

    10:1? Last time I checked it was 10:4...

  • ntcongit

    >That’s why most companies decay slowly over time. They tend to do approximately what they did before, with a few minor changes.

    Seems like Apple to me.
    You don't have to innovate everytime, but put in too much afraid to change your product makes you decay slowly

  • http://twitter.com/08ight 0.8ight

    STOP calling Google+ a social network. It is much more than plus.google.com and the mobile app! Call it a social layer!