Only five years late, UK gets Gmail to replace Google Mail

4 May 2010

Bitterwallet - Google Mail to become GmailWhen 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.

TOPICS:   Technology

19 comments

  • Alan
    I was one of the lucky ones who has gmail already. None of this googlemail malarky. 24th June 2004 was the day I became a gmail user! POW
  • NellieIrrelevant
    "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." You might want to try that paragraph again.
  • TheIllegitimateSonOfGunn
    What's the difference between gmail and googlemail exactly? I sign in via googlemail, but my address is @gmail.com /confused
  • Azbo
    LOL @ "metric fuckton"
  • Amanda H.
    Gmail for me too, 25th December 2004. I could have had [email protected] but I didn't just in case someone more deserving needed it.
  • Matt
    Erm, my account has been receiving mail to @googlemail.com and @gmail.com since i opened it? :-s!
  • Fatal E.
    I've been using Gmail in the UK since it launched. I actually use both googlemail and gmail so I have 2 E-mails in one.
  • Paul S.
    If you got in early enough, you got to register a gmail.com address; it was shortly after that that the trademark dispute began and Google was forced to use googlemail.com in the UK. Matt/TheIllegitimateSonOfGunn - that's the point; you've always been able to use gmail.com as your address, even if you registered it as a googlemail.com account - Google had those emails redirected to your account regardless - but they've never been able to officially let people register a gmail.com address.
  • 3dtv
    "If recent comments from avid Bitterwallet readers are anything to go by, none of you use Google Mail anyway" Ermm, 2 people said they didn't use it. Does this mean that you only get 2 readers to your blog? Come on guys. Get it sorted.
  • adam t.
    If none of us use GMail, what does that make yourselves..?
  • Ravanelli
    With Android integrating so well with gmail, its contacts and calendar it's going to be used more and more I reckon - I've certainly made the switch since buying an Android phone.
  • Jack
    Gmail FTW - I got in on one of the Beta / invitation accounts too. I thought you could use Gmail, even if you'd signed up later and it would just forward to googlemail to avoid trademark infringement.
  • Gob
    They've changed the site now, so it actually says Gmail in the corner. Of course like everybody else here I got mine before they changed it, 31st December 2004 to be exact.
  • Codify
    Yeah, I got in early and had one of the gmail addresses from the start. Can't believe it was 2004 - seems like a lifetime ago.
  • dude
    whats the asterisk after "a metric fuckton of cash was paid*" for?
  • Carl B.
    It would be more useful if G-Mail allowed you to create folders as most all other e-mail providers do, yet because you cannot create folders it just looks an absolute mess. Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk
  • 2in3
    @ Carl Barron You can set up labels. These work in the same way as folders.
  • -]
    They work in a superficially similar way. They don't work the same.
  • munkeycop
    Look out, nerdy post : A word of warning if you own an android phone, changing to gmail.com will cause you problems. Once I changed over my HTC Desire was suddenly unable to download apps from the Android Marketplace, it would forever say 'downloading' and make no progress. The issue is with the 'Talk' application on the handset, it needs to sign in on your google email address and that is what authenticates you to download from the marketplace. Now your email is a gmail.com address the talk application cannot login and so you cannot download. There is no option to tweak the settings for the Talk application, you are stuck with the settings you already entered. So either you A) remove your googlemail.com account from your phone then re-add the gmail address. The problem is removing your googlemail.com requires a full phone reset, this involves losing EVERYTHING on your phone and starting from scratch. or B) go into your google email account settings and switch back to your old googlemail.com address. The second I did this and restarted my handset's internet connection the applications started downloading again. Hope that helps

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