<<As a Brit, my friends and family often tell me they're miffed that they get an @googlemail.com address instead of @gmail.com. Today I have good news for them: Google Mail is soon becoming Gmail again in the UK.
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!
We'll be making this transition over the next week, and will update this post as the changes roll out. So to Aunty Pamela, Uncle Maurice, and everyone else in the UK, welcome to Gmail!>>
What was the reason for there even being UK-googlemail to begin with? I understand that in Germany the Gmail already was trademarked by someone else, but here the announcement talks of the service "soon becoming Gmail AGAIN" (emphasis mine).
From Google's blog post linked to by DPic, there's a piece of tongue-in-cheek wit:
"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!"
Incidentally, the trademark dispute didn't ever really change anything. Although Google "issued" googlemail.com addresses from October 2005, you could always use the corresponding gmail.com address and it worked perfectly.
My family and I have always used the shorter "gmail.com" form, for various email addresses issued before and after October 2005.
Update: It has begun! I now have the Gmail logo on my account (I already had a @Gmail address)