Chennai-based Zoho Corporation has launched a privacy-centered browser, Ulaa, to take on the likes of Microsoft, Google, Mozilla Firefox,  and Apple. Zoho claims its browser comes with it "a military-grade adblocker, multiple browser modes, and web surveillance, productivity tools". 

Ulaa, a word derived from the Tamil language, means journey or voyage and is developed to protect against tracking and surveillance. "Not many browsers on the market today are built to protect user privacy. They were created to protect the respective company's ad-based business models and surveillance companies that complement them, which runs counter to protecting users. This conflict between user's preferences and browser's business models means end users lose," said Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist.

With Ulaa, he said, users don't have to compromise their privacy to browse the web, which unfortunately has become a surveillance minefield. 

Notably, Google Chrome is the leader in the web browser market. It holds a 63.45% market share, followed by Apple with Safari at 20.48%. Microsoft Edge holds a 4.9% market share and Mozilla holds a 2.7% share in the web browsing market.

Zoho says Ulaa prioritises users' privacy above everything else, and that users will have complete control over their personal information. "We're committed to never selling your data or engaging in any form of tracking or surveillance. We believe that online privacy is a fundamental right, and we do everything in our power to protect it."

In order to keep the information anonymous, data that enters Zoho servers from users' devices cannot be mapped back to the user to identify them. Ulaa adds an “additional layer of protection to data” by resetting all identifiers such as browser-randomised ID and profile UID each time one opens the browser. Besides, Ulaa's inbuilt EasyList filter removes ads from webpages to provide a non-intrusive experience to the user, says the company. 

The web browser also makes sure there are no social media annoyances. Zoho says its "Fanboy Annoyances List" automatically removes pop-ups, social media share buttons, and sign-up banners from your browser to make webpages load faster and look cleaner.

To stop third-party sneaking, the EasyPrivacy filter in Ulaa protects the user's personal data from advertising agencies and third-party websites by removing all forms of tracking from the internet, including web bugs, tracking scripts, etc.

Ulaa offers dynamic mode switching, meaning users can toggle between five unique modes based on their desired browsing experience, with each mode completely isolated from others. It enables users to ask Ulaa to open and remember which websites belong in certain modes. 

Its personal mode will allow users to do all of their online banking, music or video streaming, or shopping. “They can view their browsing history, search records, favorite pages, and cookies data without having to sign in to Ulaa.” This mode enables secure logins into user accounts, prevents ads, and maintains online privacy.

Other browsing modes are work mode, developer mode, kids mode, and open season mode. For productivity, Ulaa, says Zoho, is equipped with tabs management options, integrated apps that boost productivity, an annotator, and chrome browser extension capability. 

Zoho claims to have more than 90 million users around the world, with 55+ apps in nearly every major business category. 

Besides, Zoho has announced an investment in AI, beginning with the launch of 13 generative AI Zoho application extensions and integrations, powered by ChatGPT. Zoho also announced sweeping investments across its entire portfolio to accelerate upmarket momentum after a three-year, 65% CAGR in mid-market and enterprise segments, which now represent one-third of the entire business. 

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