Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amazon Silk Browser

One of the interesting dimensions to Amazon's Kindle Fire is their announcement of Silk browser.  Please take a look at it in some detail and post your thoughts: How critical is Amazon's development of Silk as cloud-accelerated browser? What this could mean for others in the digital sector dealing with devices with browser functionality? What are the opportunities and challenges for companies in other sectors as they develop their strategies focused on leveraging the power of cloud?


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  2. As amazing as the Silk browser experience seems from a UX perspective (and it does), consumers need to keep privacy concerns in mind, too. Amazon will be keeping Silk users' IP addresses, MAC addresses, and websites visited for 30 days.

    Were this information more transparent, I would imagine people should at least be informed before making purchases like these -- especially as buying into these ecosystems have their own form of lock-in.

  3. In my opinion, the Silk browser is not a critical component of the Kindle Fire, but it is important.

    Although technical details of the Kindle Fire's CPU are limited, it will almost certainly pack less of a punch than the A5 in the iPad 2. Since this will probably be a point of direct comparison between the two, (although I don't believe these two devices are in direct competition with each other - I think each fills a separate market sub-segment) Silk will level the playing field a little. The analytics they generate from users using Silk will probably be the most complete database of tablet-browser usage statistics so-far compiled.

    I think it will be interesting to see if Amazon releases a version of the Silk browser for iPad. I see no reason why they couldn't, assuming that revenue generated from the aggregate data analytics makes the service self-sufficient and the Silk backend servers aren't subsidized by Fire hardware sales (doubtful, at the $199 price point.)

    I am also looking forward to an iSuppli report on the bill of materials used in the Fire. It may shed some light on how Amazon is pulling off the amazing market-departure in price-point. Personally I'm wondering if the Fire is sold near cost as a weapon to maintain Amazon's lead in the digital book market place. Silk may also be a key component in this strategy, if the above-mentioned usage statistics are a key monetization strategy. If this is true, then Silk could be a more critical component of the overall Fire strategy than I originally wagered.