Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Microsoft’s Windows operating system is facing stiffer competition these days from the open-source Linux operating system, symbolized by its penguin mascot, Tux. And soon the Redmond, WA, giant could be under assault by another funny-looking bird, the puffin. Puffin is Google’s code name for a new piece of software that searches files on users’ local hard drives – software that Google plans to offer free to users soon, according to a John Markoff article in today’s New York Times. If the Puffin tool helps people find forgotten files faster than the search tools built into Windows, consumers might start thinking of Google as a one-stop source for all of their search needs – which is, of course, exactly what Google hopes will happen, preferably well in advance of the appearance of Longhorn, the next-generation Windows operating system that will also integrate desktop and Internet searches.

Puffin appears to be closely related to the Google Deskbar, another piece of free software released by Google last year. Early versions of that program, which allows users to search the Internet without opening a Web browser, were also code-named Puffin. The ability to search local files would be a logical addition to the program.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me