DuckDuckGo Previews Desktop Web Browser

Posted on December 22, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Web browsers with 6 Comments

Fans of DuckDuckGo are probably familiar with the company’s mobile web browser, but there’s a desktop version coming in 2022 too. And DuckDuckGo just offered a short preview in a post highlighting its privacy accomplishments over the past year.

“Like we’ve done on mobile, DuckDuckGo for desktop will redefine user expectations of everyday online privacy,” DuckDuckGo’s Gabriel Weinberg writes. “No complicated settings, no misleading warnings, no ‘levels’ of privacy protection – just robust privacy protection that works by default, across search, browsing, email, and more. 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.”

According to Weinberg, the DuckDuckGo desktop web browser is not built on Chromium, which will be troubling to some and celebrated by others. Instead, the browser is built “around the OS-provided rendering engines (like on mobile), allowing us to strip away a lot of the unnecessary cruft and clutter that’s accumulated over the years in major browsers.” So I guess it will be built on Chromium, then, at least on Windows.

The browser will also feature a “clean and simple interface” and the popular Fire Button from DuckDuckGo’s mobile app. “Compared to Chrome, the DuckDuckGo app for desktop is cleaner [and] way more private, and early tests have found it significantly faster too,” Weinberg says. A timeline for its release, however, is unclear.

As for DuckDuckGo’s privacy accomplishments in 2021, Weinberg says that improvements to its search, tracker blocking, and mobile app, plus new features like Email Protection and App Tracking Protection, have helped establish it as the go-to solution for privacy protections online. “We’re building a simple privacy layer for how people use the Internet today, without any tradeoffs,” he says. “It’s privacy, simplified.”

And the firm has seen some real success, too: DuckDuckGo is now the most downloaded web browser app on Android in what it describes as its “major markets,” and it is number two on iOS behind Chrome. DuckDuckGo now averages more than 100 million searches each day, and its most recent survey shows that 27 million Americans—about 9 percent of the population—use DuckDuckGo. The firm has seen over 150 million downloads of its privacy apps and extensions since 2018 worldwide.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (6)

6 responses to “DuckDuckGo Previews Desktop Web Browser”

  1. Donte

    I look forward to trying this.

    If Microsoft ends up supporting MV3 and blocking the use of Ublock and other extensions, I will dump Edge as fast as I can export my bookmarks and never come back. I will tell EVERYONE I help with computer support to do the same thing.

  2. kaluminati

    DuckDuckGo search results this past year reminded me of the early Google non-SEO days.

    I use Bing for android homescreen search and DuckDuckGo on Edge on my PC.

  3. F4IL

    So, this is a Safari wrapper on iOS and a Chrome WebView wrapper on Android.

    • Donte

      I would assume this. Nothing bad about that, since its probably only using the core engine.

  4. igor engelen

    Will certainly test it. Most likely a good alternative for Edge as 2nd browser (on Mac).

  5. a_lurker

    I will be following this.