Android doesn't really have a birthday... and by that, I mean it has lots and lots of "birthdays," like a cheapskate trying to score free desserts at Applebees. You could count the day that Andy Rubin and his team started the original independent company, way back in 2003. You could count the day that the original 1.0 software was released. You could count the day that the HTC G1 (Dream) was released in 2008. But whichever way you slice it, the day that Google officially acquired both Android the company and Android the operating system was a big one, and it was exactly ten years ago today.

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One of the original Android hardware prototypes... which didn't show up until 2007. Source: HTCpedia.com

The pre-Google days of Android are murky and largely undocumented - even the official history on Android.com doesn't mention this milestone (or much of anything, really), and Google's own company timeline doesn't mention say anything about Android for the entire year of 2005. The news that Google bought an obscure mobile software team didn't even start making it into the tech media until the following month.

We're going to take Ficus Kirkpatrick's word for it that July 11th, 2005 was when the original Android team was integrated into Google. He should know - he was a software designer for Danger (another Andy Rubin project) before joining the Android team earlier in 2005, and he's still working at Google today.

So whatever you call it - birthday? Anniversary? - congratulations to the Android software team and Google. Without you the history of mobile computing would be irrevocably altered, and at least one tech blogger would probably still be making beer signs in a distributor printshop. Many happy returns.