What will 2017 bring for web browsers?

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 23, 2016
Updated • Dec 23, 2016

2017 is just a couple of days away, and it will be an interesting year if you are interested in technology.

What will 2017 bring for web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Edge or Vivaldi? This is what I try to predict in this article.

To do that, I have to look at the current situation first briefly. In the Windows world, there are three major browser makers left. They are Mozilla, Microsoft, and Google.

These three organizations dominate the market, and many other browsers, Opera, Pale Moon or Vivaldi, use code from the major three.

While there are some projects ongoing that are independent, Otter Browser for instance, they are niche products and it seems unlikely that they will make a big splash in 2017.

2016 was the year that Chrome overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer usage share-wise, that Edge did not move one way or the other, and that Firefox rebounded from new lows.

2017: web browser predictions

Lets take a look at browsers individually.

Microsoft Edge

netflix edge

Microsoft Edge was introduced as the main web browser in Windows 10. It is the default browser on the system which gives it an -- wait for it -- edge over other browsers.

Microsoft's work on Edge continues, but it seems unlikely that whatever the company will bring to Edge in 2017 will change the popularity of the browser in one way or the other.

I expect Microsoft to loosen up the extension restrictions that are currently in place. Extensions support was an important step for Edge in 2016, but what is currently available pales in comparison to Firefox and Chrome.

Part of it comes down to Microsoft having a tight grip on extension development currently. While you can release extensions for Edge, you cannot upload them to Microsoft Store right now it seems without Microsoft's approval.

Edge does a couple of things really well or even exclusively, Netflix in 4K or even 1080p for instance, but the browser trails behind in other areas as well.

The browser suffers from missing mobile versions of the browser, as there is no option right now to sync bookmarks, browsing history or tabs between Edge on the desktop and mobiles.

Outlook: will get missing or lacking features in 2017, but that won't do anything for the browser's usage share.

Google Chrome

chrome blank tabs

Google Chrome looks like the clear winner when it comes to browsers in 2016. It jumped in usage share, and is now the world's most used desktop browser.

The browser has a lot going for it. It is still reasonably fast -- Google seems to ignore benchmarks and speed for the most part now though -- still highly optimized in regards to its interface, and backed by cutting edge tech. Google Chrome works well out of the box, and it is easy to use.

The downside is that Google plays it safe in all other regards. Sure, Material Design added new accents to the interface, but apart from that, there is little change elsewhere.

Chrome does not offer many -- or any in some areas -- customization options, and if you worried about privacy, you better not use Chrome on your devices.

Chrome seems to stand still for the most part. This is only true for the browser's front end and not the technology that powers it. If you read Google's announcements when a new Chrome stable version gets released for instance, you will only get information on how many security issues were fixed in that release.

There is barely any information on new features or improvements, and support for the browser is non-existent as well.

Outlook: Chrome may plateau in 2017, and may even dip a little bit.


firefox tab titles with dots

It looked as if Firefox was done in the first half of 2016. Things were not looking bright, with Mozilla making a series of announcements that affected Firefox core features.

The company introduced add-on signing in 2016, decided to focus on WebExtensions and move away from the traditional add-on system by deprecating certain features that made Firefox great.

The organization dropped Firefox OS development, and the new multi-process architecture of Firefox was delayed month after month.

Firefox did rebound in the second half of 2016. Mozilla will push multi-process to all Firefox stable users in early 2017. This marks an important step for the browser as it improves stability of it significantly. Then a bit later, security sandboxing will be added to this to improve the browser in this regard as well.

There is also the Quantum project which will improve Firefox performance significantly in 2017.

Outlook: The future looks brighter for Firefox in 2017, but the deprecation of the old add-on system still looms above its head.

Other browsers

  • Opera is a wild card. The browser was sold to a Chinese consortium in 2016, and it is unclear how that will affect the browser. It can go either way: Opera's popularity may rise in China and Asia because of the move, and the company's that are now in charge pushing it, or it could drop if the companies make the wrong decisions.
  • Pale Moon may become the browser that disillusioned Firefox users will pick  when Mozilla deprecates functionality such as NPAPI plugin support or XUL/XPCOM as the browser will continue to support those. It may see a nice boost in users because of this.
  • Vivaldi will continue to get feature updates in regular intervals. 2017 will be a major year for the fledgling browser as the company behind the browser plans to launch a mobile version of it in that year, and the long awaited mail client as well.

Now You: What are your browser predictions for 2017?

What will 2017 bring for web browsers?
Article Name
What will 2017 bring for web browsers?
The article gives predictions for how the browser landscape will change in the year 2017 by predicting what is in store for Chrome, Edge and Firefox.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.