Google said today it is opening its GoogleMail webmail service to everyone. It has also added a mobile version of GoogleMail.

Previously, users needed an invitation sent by a registered GoogleMail user to open an account, but this is no longer required Google said in a statement. Anyone can open a free account from today. The service is still known as Gmail in the US, but not in Europe.

The hype around GoogleMail has always been big due to the generous storage space offered. Users currently have 2.8GB at their disposal - more than any rival webmail services. GoogleMail also includes anti-spam and search features.

The question is why it has taken Google so long to change the registration process. The GoogleMail service has been very popular since its launch in 2004, but perhaps not enough users invited their friends and family to the service for it to increase at the same rate as previously.

In addition, Google has released a new downloadable GoogleMail for mobile handsets. The free service automatically synchronises with a user's online GoogleMail account, allowing them to access their email on the move. Email attachments such as photos and text files can also be accessed.

Mobile users in the UK with Java-equipped mobiles can use their mobile phone's browser to download the application.