Google and Facebook rivalry takes centrestage

The technology industry's latest rivalry takes centerstage next week when Internet powers Google Inc and Facebook lay out their competing visions to create a new generation of web services at a high-profile conference in San Francisco.

The relationship between the two Internet icons has become increasingly confrontational, and the battle will likely intensify on Monday when Facebook is expected to introduce a revamped version of its messaging technology that could pose a challenge to Google's Gmail.



Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Google Chief Eric Schmidt will each take the stage, along with dozens of other Internet industry heavyweights, during the 3-day Web 2.0 conference that kicks off Monday.



With reports swirling that Yahoo Inc is being eyed for a takeover by private equity firms, possibly in coordination with AOL Inc or News Corp. Yahoo Inc CEO Carol Bartz's talk at the conference on Tuesday will also be closely watched.



And investors hoping for an eventual wave of initial public offerings by a new generation of fast-growing Web start-ups will keep an eye on appearances by executives from Twitter, Zynga and LinkedIn.



But all eyes will be on Zuckerberg and Schmidt, and the pitched struggle for Web surfers' time online, advertising dollars, and increasingly costly Silicon Valley talent.



Investors are waiting for details of Google's social networking strategy. Google has acquired several small social networking companies in recent months and Schmidt has said the company would begin to add social "layers" to its existing products in the fall.



Google's Internet search engine and Facebook's social networking service have grown into billion-dollar businesses, amassing vast numbers of users. Now, the two are increasingly on a collision course.



"Once you have that many (users), you want to try to be all things to all people in some sense ..., and I think everything falls out of that," said a person familiar with Facebook's thinking.



"They have similar aspirations and goals," the person said of Google.



The latest flashpoint appears to be email, with Facebook due to unveil "across the board" changes to its messaging service on Monday, according to the source.



Blog TechCrunch reported on Friday that Facebook will unveil a full-fledged Web email product, along with "@facebook.com" email addresses for users, and noted that the product is referred to within Facebook as a "Gmail-killer."



A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.



Last week, Google began blocking a Facebook feature that allows users to automatically import Gmail contact data into the social networking service. Google accused Facebook of siphoning up Google data without allowing for the automatic import and export of Facebook users' information.

They are also increasingly vying for engineering talent in Silicon Valley. This week, Google internally announced plans to boost salaries by 10 per cent, according to media reports, in a move viewed as an effort to staunch an exodus of engineers and managers to Facebook.



But the social network itself lost a star engineer on Friday, when Paul Buchheit said he was leaving Facebook to join Y Combinator, a firm that invests in and provides services for technology start-ups.



Buchheit, who worked at Google from 1999 to 2006, is best known as the creator of Google's Gmail. But he would not discuss any Facebook product plans when reached on the phone on Friday.



When reports of Facebook building an email product first surfaced in February, Buchheit said he was not working on anything related to email at Facebook and that he didn't plan to.

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing