Google has been forced to change the name of their service in the UK to Google Mail as of today. As one of our regular readers noticed, his logo had been switching between the regular GMail logo and the new Google Mail logo over the past couple of weeks.
Users who have registered for GMail up until now can keep their @gmail.com address, but from now on, users will have to live with one with the domain @googlemail.co.uk.
So now in two countries GMail is officially known as Google Mail, Germany and the UK. Google does not plan to change the name of their service in any other countries.
Some interesting things about the new announcement that I found while digging around... if you visit http://googlemail.co.uk, you will notice it's not GMail. I assume they will be forwarding this to mail.google.com/mail sometime in the future.
As for the domain itself, here is the whois record:
The Birches 2c Sandford Road
eMarkmonitor Inc. t/a Markmonitor [Tag = MARKMONITOR]
Registered on: 19-Jan-2004
Renewal Date: 19-Jan-2006
Last updated: 18-Oct-2005
Registered until renewal date.
Name servers listed in order:
WHOIS database last updated at 16:15:01 19-Oct-2005
Looks like "Future Movies" is the registrant. Does this mean Google purchased this domain from Future Movies, or is Future Movies somehow related to Google (just like Data Docket Inc.)? It may be that Google is using Future Movies as a holding company... As of right now, there is no evidence for either of these two scenarios. I will have to do some more investigation on this one.
The announcement on Google's website is different than the press release mentioned earlier in this article. On Google's website, they say that new user's email addresses will be @googlemail.com, but in the press release it says they will be googlemail.co.uk. I'm thinking the press release must be wrong? (even though google does own googlemail.co.uk... I think...)