You may have read the press release from Google already; users of Google email in the UK can now switch their existing @googlemail.com account to @gmail.com, with the exact same username in front.
Google initially launched Gmail in the UK six years ago but quickly realized someone else was using G-mail and a long old trademark dispute ensued. UK users had to use Googlemail instead, not nearly as cool and more confusing than anything. The dispute was reportedly solved recently when Google agreed to pay a UK firm a bit over £200,000 for the property rights to Gmail.
It’s a little known fact that Googlemail and Gmail have worked interchangeably all along and the only difference now is that Google are allowed to announce it and actually close down the Googlemail accounts in the UK (as long as the user requests it).
From this week, new UK users will be issued Gmail accounts and existing users will be offered to switch Googlemail to Gmail. A software engineer at Google was quoted saying “we estimate this name change will save approximately 60 million keystrokes a year”. That’s great, how about changing Google to Gogl in that case? I hope this fellow is better at engineering than marketing.
How does one go about doing this switch?
Simples! I had a little dig at this yesterday and it’s actually not very complicated. Login to your Googlemail/Gmail account, click on Settings at the top right hand corner. In Settings, click on the Accounts and Imports tab and you will see this:
Click on the Switch to @gmail.com link and you will be taken to this page:
Click on the big blue bar and voilá, your Googlemail is now your Gmail!
If you for some odd reason want to change back to Googlemail, you will always have the option to. You will received emails addressed to both accounts in any case.