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DuckDuckGo Signals Entry Into Desktop Browser Market

Gabriel Weinberg’s DuckDuckGo is taking aim at the desktop browser market, betting that default privacy-centric settings will provide safer alternatives to Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browsers.

The upstart search engine company says it is building a desktop browser from scratch with the same privacy-enhancing defaults that makes the DuckDuckGo search engine popular with privacy advocates.

Weinberg, who co-founded DuckDuckGo in 2008 and expanded beyond search into email protection and mobile app tracking,  said the new desktop browser will attempt to make things simple for confused web surfers.

"No complicated settings, no misleading warnings, no 'levels' of privacy protection – just robust privacy protection that works by default, across search, browsing [and] email," Weinberg declared.

[ READ: Google Confirms Sixth Zero-Day Chrome Attack in 2021 ]

Instead of forking the open-source Chromium, Weinberg said the company is building its browser around the OS-provided rendering engine.  “This lets us strip away a lot of the unnecessary cruft and clutter that’s accumulated over the years in major browsers,” he added.

“It's not a 'privacy browser'; it's an everyday browsing app that respects your privacy because there's never a bad time to stop companies from spying on your search and browsing history,” Weinberg added.

The move into the desktop market comes as DuckDuckGo sees growth in the mobile space with app downloads on both Android and iOS surging to power more than 100 million searches per day.

The company did not provide any technical details on the new browser or say when it would be available for desktop computers. 

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Related: 'Privacy' Search Engines See Jump After NSA Row

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. He is a journalist and cybersecurity strategist with more than 20 years experience covering IT security and technology trends. Ryan has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and Kaspersky GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's career as a journalist includes bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.