Facebook, a social networking site frequented largely by the
young, overtook Google as the most visited website earlier this year. It was natural that it would counter Google in other areas, and email is the obvious battlefield. A while back, Google began blocking Facebook’s ability to automatically access Gmail contact data. Reason: Facebook does not give Google equal access.
Internet technology is perhaps the world’s most level playing field, and what matters here is not your pedigree or aristocracy but ideas and execution. The success of Google and Gmail are testimony to that. Yet, Google’s own net browser Chrome has had little success since it lacks a unique idea to lure people. We are still awaiting Facebook’s USP on email.
The technology world is never going to have one all-time champ. Once upon a time, IBM was the topdog. Then Microsoft took over. In the early years of the internet, Oracle looked like it was a threat to Microsoft, but it was Google that became No 1. Now we have Facebook throwing the gauntlet. Meanwhile, Apple is making a comeback of sorts with music, phones and tablet PCs. We live in interesting times.