Four and a half years ago, Google lost the right to use the term "Gmail" in the UK due to a trademark dispute, and ever since, "Google Mail" is what its email service has been called in the region. Only now, Google’s finally ditching the two-word moniker and going back to good old Gmail.
A little background info: Independent International Investment Research first objected to Google’s use of "Gmail" because it offered a G-mail service of its own. And Independent International Investment Research wanted $500,000 per year, plus "the same amount in advertising credits," in exchange for standing aside.
Unfortunately, no one’s talking about whatever sort of settlement Google’s reached with the company. Google Software Engineer Greg Bullock was happy to explain the ramifications on the Gmail Blog, though.
Bullock wrote late yesterday, "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."
This should make things slightly more convenient for users and decrease the chance of typos occurring, considering that Bullock stated, "Since ‘gmail’ is 50% fewer characters than ‘googlemail,’ we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a day."
For whatever it’s worth, Bullock also claimed, "At about 217 microjoules per keystroke, that’s about the energy of 20 bonbons saved every day!"