Only five years late, UK gets Gmail to replace Google Mail
When Gmail was launched in 2004, invites were rarer than hen's teeth and everyone wanted to try it. Then the UK discovered they couldn't have a Gmail address, because a UK company had already claimed Gmail as a trademark. So we were stuck with the sexed-down Google Mail, the digital equivilent of supermarket-branded crisps in your packed lunch while the other kids had Walkers.
No longer - according to the Google blog, an arrangement has been reached / the lads with hammers got involved / a metric fuckton of cash was paid* and Gmail is set to replace Google Mail; "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".
Unless you'd realised years ago that Google Mail adresses were interchangable with Gmail, and any mail sent to a Gmail address would automatically reach its Google Mail equivilent; the issue was with Google using Gmail as a trademark in the UK, so while they couldn't tell you it was active, users still had use of the address.
If recent comments from avid Bitterwallet readers are anything to go by, none of you use Google Mail anyway, so won't know appreciate what the fuss is. For the rest of us, those five fewer keystrokes when typing our email address will inevitiably mean fewer calories burnt and therefore increased risk of obesity, heart disease and death. A small price to pay for a shorter email address.