I was trying to think back to when i started using Gmail for the first time – I have quite a good account name, I got it back when you had to be invited to use the system.
I love how Gmail has changed the way i use email, I love how I can bolt on “labs” stuff which pushes my email forward in ways other email clients only wished they could evolve (Mail Beer Goggles?? Haha!)
Anyway – when it was launched in the UK, it was called Gmail – but as its proper launch got closer another company who had been using the term Gmail in the UK for years piped up and kicked up a bit of a fuss about it. A big lawsuit kicked off, and google ended up changing all UK sign ups to @googlemail.com email account – despite @gmail.com still working for all UK users as well.
They soon resolved it by simply acquiring the .co.uk variant, and the UK signups reverted back to gmail.com.
Its a strange ‘ol world.