Facebook lobbed the latest grenade in the modern tech war with its announcement of Graph Search, a personalized tool that taps into the social network’s mountain of user information. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin, meanwhile, was photographed in a New York subway trying out the yet-to-be-released Google Glasses. Amazon continues to up the ante on hardware with its Kindle Fire HD, while Apple appears to remain focused on maintaining its place atop the computing world.

What FastCompany.com called “The Great Tech War of 2012″ has only escalated in 2013 as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple gradually drift into one another’s dominant territories. Keeping up to speed on the ongoing skirmishes between these innovative tech giants should be interesting.

Graph Search Challenges Google

After months of speculation that Facebook would throw its hat into the search ring, CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s troops have delivered a unique tool that they claim will further connect users. Many experts have commented that Graph Search is Facebook’s answer to Google, but the social network is quick to point out that comparing the two is a stretch.

According to Graph Search developers Tom Stocky and Lars Rasmussen, Web search is designed to provide the best search results for keywords, while Graph Search uses phrases to deliver relevant content that has been shared. A Web search for credit card processors, for example, might return the website for Capital Processing Network, while a Graph Search for people who own businesses might return personal connections that could offer first-hand advice. Both results may be useful, but they serve different purposes.

Facebook developers succinctly described their opinion on how Graph Search and web search will co-exist, saying in a Facebook Newsroom post: “We believe they have very different uses.”

Google Pumps Hardware

It’s not uncommon to see a unique pair of glasses on a New York City subway. Other than that, there’s nothing normal about a picture that recently emerged of Google co-founder Sergey Brin trying out his company’s widely-anticipated glasses. The picture is a reminder that Google’s founders are pushing hard to become a player in the hardware industry — and it’s not just with futuristic gimmicks.

Released in late 2012, the Samsung Google Chromebook has the look and feel of an Apple Macbook Air, but for a fraction of the cost. Starting at just $199 Google’s line of Chromebooks appears to be a direct response to Apple’s high prices. Combine that with social network Google+ and Google Shopping, and it appears the Mountain View-based search giant is the most aggressive player in this chess match.

Kindle vs. iPad

Google isn’t the only tech-giant on Apple’s radar. A Steve Jobs-led Apple, for the umpteenth time, changed the personal computing landscape with its release of iPad in 2010. Amazon quickly followed into the tablet market with the Kindle Fire and, since then, the two have spared with one impressive release after another. The latest matchup pits the Apple iPad Mini against the Kindle Fire HD.

Similarly sized, the iPad Mini base model retails for $329. The Kindle Fire HD costs $199, and the online retail giant widely advertised the discrepancy. Most critics agree, however, that the iPad Mini is a superior device. For now, Apple is still the king of hardware.

When Zack Gears is not consulting his clients and working to improve their SEO, he is tweeting updates on the latest trends in social media and interactive gaming.

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Graph Search, Glasses and More: Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Continue to Innovate

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Graph Search, Glasses and More: Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Continue to Innovate


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