We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. Google has finally brought the Gmail name back to the UK.
As regular Gmail users in Britain know, we’re saddled with the “Google Mail” name thanks to a trademark dispute between Google and British firm Independent International Investment Research that dates from 2005. This means that we are given googlemail.com addresses. While you can use gmail.com and googlemail.com interchangeably, there was always the threat that this dispute would end up leading to UK users being left with the only Googlemail option – a lot longer and less catchy than the service’s real name.
Back in September last year we noticed Gmail users in the UK were seeing the Google Mail name replaced by Gmail in their browsers. When pressed for a statement at the time, Google explained that they had reached a settlement and that the product name would change in all UK inboxes “within the upcoming months”. A day later, all UK users were returned to ‘Google Mail Land’ and left wondering whether we would ever reach parity with the rest of the Gmail-using world.
Google has finally confirmed in a blog post that the change is coming. The lighthearted post notes:
“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. 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!”
True to Google’s word, today we’re seeing the Gmail name has returned to our inboxes. Welcome back old friend, good riddance Google Mail!
[Image credit: _Superbeast_]