If you're wondering what that cake was for when you opened Google this morning, let us inform you that it was today, 12 years ago, that the company was born.
Founded then by two Phd students (now billionaires) Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the website is arguably the most common and most visited website on the planet. Google has since then "diversified" from being a search engine to becoming a mail provider (Gmail), photo sharing site (Picasa), maps service provider (Google Maps) and even social networking platforms (Orkut, Buzz). It is also now a big player in the mobile smart phone operating system segment with its Android OS which is fast becoming the OS of choice for many. It also has a Web Browser, Chrome and also an upcoming PC Operating System sharing the same name - Chrome OS.
Most of Google's services were roaring successes except for a few exceptions like Wave and even its latest social networking platform, the Buzz. Google had also released a mobile phone called the Google Nexus One (as if you don't know!) which did see moderate success.
As for the "actual" birthday of Google, the debate is still on as to what can be considered the real birthday of the site. The Google.com domain was registered on September 15, 1997 and in the past, Google has celebrated its birthday on September 7 and of late, mostly on September 27. The company seems to have more or less fixed September 27 as its "official birthday" and it could well be the way forward in the coming years.
Anyway, here's wishing Google a very happy birthday!