Will Browsers Ship With Ad Blockers?

August 7, 2009
48 Views

A while ago, I wrote a post entitled “Think Evil” in which I mused that:

A few years ago, when it became clear that Microsoft was losing the search wars to Google – but when they hadn’t lost much browser market share to Firefox – I thought they should have used a scorched earth strategy of including an ad-blocker in Internet Explorer. The ad blocker would be on by default and would block all ads, including sponsored links from search engines. Actually, I can’t bring myself to consider this particular approach evil – from my perspective, the means would justify the end.

I guess I’m not the only person with such musings. In a post with the descriptive (if uncreative) title “In five years all browsers will block internet advertisements by default,” Orin Thomas argues:

People have become conditioned to accessing content for free on the Internet and people also don’t want to see advertisements on the Internet. At some point in the not too distant future, ad blocking will become a necessary browser feature like Tabs are today. Any browser that does not include the feature will suffer a dramatic downturn in market share as people move to platforms that “block those darn


A while ago, I wrote a post entitled “Think Evil” in which I mused that:

A few years ago, when it became clear that Microsoft was losing the search wars to Google – but when they hadn’t lost much browser market share to Firefox – I thought they should have used a scorched earth strategy of including an ad-blocker in Internet Explorer. The ad blocker would be on by default and would block all ads, including sponsored links from search engines. Actually, I can’t bring myself to consider this particular approach evil – from my perspective, the means would justify the end.

I guess I’m not the only person with such musings. In a post with the descriptive (if uncreative) title “In five years all browsers will block internet advertisements by default,” Orin Thomas argues:

People have become conditioned to accessing content for free on the Internet and people also don’t want to see advertisements on the Internet. At some point in the not too distant future, ad blocking will become a necessary browser feature like Tabs are today. Any browser that does not include the feature will suffer a dramatic downturn in market share as people move to platforms that “block those darn advertisements.” Within five years, all browsers will block advertisements by default because, in the end, it is a feature that most people want.

I’d like to believe that he’s right, but I’m pretty sure I made similar claims at least five years ago, and I’m not aware of even a niche browser that ships with a built-in ad blocker.

I’m curious what readers think. Is it a matter of time before we see another arms race, like we had a few years ago over pop-up ads? Or, as one of the commentors responded to Thomas , is it just a matter of equilibrium, where advertisers produce ads that users don’t want to block?

Indeed, are we already at that equilibrium? Is the lack of traction for easily available ad blockers a sign that people don’t mind ads, and that the ad-supported ecosystem can easily afford to ignore outliers like me who religiously use Adblock Plus and CustomizeGoogle to block all ads?

Link to original post

You may be interested

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups
Big Data
298 shares3,066 views
Big Data
298 shares3,066 views

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups

Ryan Kh - July 20, 2017

The first version of SAP Hana was released in 2010, before Hadoop and other big data extraction tools were introduced.…

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion
Data Management
62 views
Data Management
62 views

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion

Manish Bhickta - July 20, 2017

Physical Data destruction techniques are efficient enough to destroy data, but they can never be considered eco-friendly. On the other…

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan
Data Management
69 shares672 views
Data Management
69 shares672 views

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan

GloriaKopp - July 20, 2017

Part of business planning is arranging how data will be used in the development of a project. This is why…