Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has launched a new browser for Windows users as an alternative to Google’s Chrome.
In a Thursday blog post, the company said that its desktop browser for Windows is officially in public beta, adding that users can now download the browser without the need for any invite codes or waiting list.
“DuckDuckGo for Windows is already equipped with nearly all the privacy protections and everyday features that users know and trust from our iOS, Mac, and Android browsers – and it’s getting closer to parity with those browsers every day,” the company said.
This comes after the browser’s public release nine months ago for Mac users and includes many of the privacy protections that feature in the browser’s iOS, Mac, and Android versions.
For one, it features a password manager that can automatically remember and fill in login credentials, and a password suggestion feature for new logins.
DuckDuckGo plans to add extension support in the future, as well as private syncing across devices allowing users to sync their bookmarks and saved passwords between different devices.
In addition, the new browser blocks invasive trackers before they can load, effectively eliminating ads that rely on tracking.
“(Because so many ads work that way, you’ll see way fewer ads – if any at all.) We also remove the whitespace left behind by those ads for a clean, distraction-free look without the need for an outside ad blocker,” the company wrote in the blog post.
It also noted that the browser includes Duck Player, a built-in video player designed to protect users from tracking cookies and personalized ads when watching YouTube, although the videos still appear in a viewership log.
DuckDuckGo’s Windows Browser Provides an Alternative to Chrome
The new Windows browser is designed to protect user privacy while being as seamless as possible.
DuckDuckGo plans to add more features to the browser soon, including HTML bookmark import, faster performance, and new privacy features.
For those who are concerned about their online privacy, the new browser provides an alternative to more established browsers like Chrome, which regularly collects user data, including search queries, location information, and browsing history.
While most mainstream browsers collect user data to some extent, privacy-focused browsers like DuckDuckGo aim to protect their users’ data and privacy.
It is worth noting that privacy browsers like DuckDuckGo, Brave, and Tor have all risen in popularity in recent years as people become more aware of online privacy issues.
According to a report from Statista, DuckDuckGo had a global market share of 0.52% in April 2023.
While this is not a lot compared to the dominant market leader Google, DuckDuckGo has a slightly higher share of the search engine market in the United States, the company’s home market.
More specifically, the privacy browser accounted for around 2% of the market share in the US, compared to 0.53% in Europe.
Meanwhile, the launch of DuckDuckGo’s Windows browser comes as the company has also announced the beta launch of DuckAssist: an AI-powered summarisation feature that can directly answer direct search queries for users.
It draws on natural language technology from OpenAI and AI start-up Anthropic, co-founded by ex-OpenAI employees.
This technology powers natural language summarization by combining DuckDuckGo’s active indexing of Wikipedia and other reference sites it uses to source answers.
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