You have certainly heard of Gmail, or received emails from people whose email address ends in "
@gmail.com". But you may also have heard of "Google Mail" or encountered an email address ending in "
@googlemail.com"; are these Google employees' email service? No (these would have an address ending in "
@google.com"). This tutorial explain the difference between Gmail and Google Mail. Although Google only currently offers email accounts ending in "@gmail.com", they do own localized versions of the domain (like
gmail.co.uk for the United Kindom). They might start offering country-specific email addresses; but, for now, it's probably just a safety measure to protect their intellectual property and/or prevent spammers from acquiring these domains and using them for phishing and other nefarious purposes!
Update: since this tutorial was originally written, Google has finally been able to acquire the rights to use the trademark "Gmail" in Germany. This means that you'll see a decreasing number of people using an email address ending in "@googlemail.com".
"Gmail" is the contraction of "Google" (the creator of Gmail) and "mail", another word for email. But Google also offers and advertises a "Google Mail" webmail service. This is the first name that was officially picked for Google's free webmail service in 2004. As Gmail grew in popularity, users all around the world started signing up.
Google Mail is exactly the same thing as Gmail, and is only used in some countries where Google ended up not being able to use the word "Gmail", which belonged to other companies (completely unrelated to Google, and not offering any kind of email service). Nonetheless, Google had to find an alternate name under which to offer email addresses in those countries. In brief, Google Mail and Gmail are the same thing, and not a hoax or spammers.
@googlemail.com" email address.
For more information on the legal and trademark issues that forced Google to use "Google Mail" instead of simply "Gmail" in some countries, please see the following Wikipedia entry:
googlemail.com domain for certain countries"