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Google CEO Larry Page taunts Apple: how's that "thermonuclear war" going?

Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page has publicly trolled on two of his tech giant rivals, calling out Facebook for "doing a really bad job with its products" and also taking a couple of swipes at Apple for lacking ambition.

In an interview with Wired magazine, published yesterday but conducted last month before Facebook announced its new Graph Search tool, Page said that he wasn't concerned about competition from the dedicated social network, preferring to focus on continuing to innovate at Google instead.

"That'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," he commented.

"For us to succeed, is it necessary for some other company to fail? No. We're actually doing something different," he continued.

Many onlookers see the evolving rivalry between Google and Facebook as one of the technology industry's showdowns to watch in the months and years to come.

The search giant's foray into the social media sphere with the introduction of Google+ has been seen as an attempt to impinge on Facebook's territory. Similarly, the social media behemoth's newly announced Graph Search venture has been dubbed a potential 'Google killer' by more excitable pundits.

Clearly in a spritely mood during the interview, Page also ripped into rival mobile operating system designer and perennial Android antagonist Apple.

Asked about the late Steve Jobs' comments that he would go to "thermonuclear war" with Android, Page responded dismissively: "How well is that working?"

He added: "At the time we bought Android, it was pretty obvious that the existing mobile operating systems were terrible...Compare that to what we have now."

"You may say that Apple does a very, very small number of things, and that's working pretty well for them. But I find that deeply unsatisfying," he said.

Page's fighting talk comes at a crucial time for Google, and its hardware ambitions in particular. While the Nexus 7 mini-tablet was a game-changer in the tablet sphere last year, it has since been arguably outclassed by the (admittedly more expensive) iPad mini.

The Nexus 4 handset, meanwhile, was widely praised for combining high-end specifications with an affordable price tag, but has been effectively crippled by availability issues since its 'release' in late-2012.