In the UK, Google was forced to give its email service Gmail a different name, Googlemail, because of a trademark dispute. These disputes take a long time (Gmail was changed into Googlemail in October 19, 2005), so Google opted on using a different (yet recognizable) name until the dispute is resolved.
Four and a half years later, UK users will finally get their @gmail.com addresses, as Googlemail is changing back into Gmail. Users will have the possibility of keeping their old @googlemail.com address or switching to a new one. From the announcement: “If you already have a Google email account in the UK, you’ll soon have the option to switch your existing @googlemail.com address to the matching @gmail.com one, but you’re also free to stick with @googlemail.com. And starting later this week, anybody who signs up for a new account in the UK will get an @gmail.com address.”
Google jokingly estimates that the change will have a positive impact on the overall energy consumption. “Since “gmail” is 50% fewer characters than “googlemail,” we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a day. At about 217 microjoules per keystroke, that’s about the energy of 20 bonbons saved every day,” it claims.
The transition from Googlemail to Gmail will happen over the next week.