What is Amazon’s Silk browser?

Looking for Tips and Tricks? They're here!
Posted by Bryan on 22nd December 2011

Amazon’s Silk browser is a new kind of browser with a split personality that simultaneously resides on the Kindle Fire and the Cloud, with the aim of an improved browsing experience.

Amazon Silk BrowserAmazon went on a device launching spree with its Kindle range of products. What started out as an e-book reader has gone on to become a 7 inch Android tablet that does much more than just let you read books. It was not a great surprise then, that Amazon followed it up with the announcement of a revolutionary new browser; the Amazon Silk browser for Kindle Fire. Playing on the word “silk” as representing the lightweight but strong connection between the browser and the server, this browser uses split architecture, and is expected to make a significant difference to users’ browsing experience.

Amazon has already made a big dent in the tablet segment with its Kindle selling at $199 which represents a much lower price than the iPad. Even compared to other tablets at the lower end of the price spectrum, the Kindle Fire is a great deal: at around $100 cheaper than most competitors. Now with the Amazon Silk browser, Jeff Bezos has all the pieces of his Internet Marketing strategy in place.

What is the Amazon Silk browser?
The Amazon Silk browser for Kindle Fire has been positioned as an exclusive cloud-powered experience that will be different from anything that present mobile browsers have to offer. The WebKit engine of the browser uses split architecture, which means its components and subsystems are located on both the device and on Amazon’s servers. The functionality is then distributed on-demand between the device and the cloud depending on the optimum solution. It also uses Google’s Speedy (SPDY) content transporting protocol to enhance the user experience. Amazon believes that this split architecture will result in a significant differentiation since all existing mobile browsers use in-device computing power to render web pages.

What is the fuss all about?
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. It has already cornered a huge share of the tablet market with its pricing strategy on the Kindle line of products. Now, with a browser in the game, they have an independent product and service package that ties into their retailing strategy like a hand fits into a glove. This is mainly what the fuss is about. You will have heard the same hype about a revolutionary new browser when the Google’s Chromium project released Chrome. It remains to be seen how different the browsing experience with Silk will be. The other reason for the fuss is, of course, the privacy aspect. With the retail giant now privy to your browsing activity, it will be in the strongest imaginable position to suggest to you the exact purchases that you might need. It is possible that it may even identify your needs before you do; at least algorithmically. Though the cloud-based server functionalities are going to come with an off-switch, this capability is something that we should be wary of.

The Bottom-line
The question stands: should you be looking at a Kindle device now that Silk is the new buzzword in browserville? For a lot of people, including critics of the way this product development is headed, that is the wrong question, since you should have already purchased it by now. The verdict on the street is that the Kindle/Silk combo is going to be a tough nut, to crack even for the strategy wizards over at Apple. As far as the online retail segment goes, things couldn’t get any better for Amazon, first with the incredible rate of Kindle adoption, and now with the Amazon Silk browser keeping the buyer in the store even without him or her knowing it.

Written by: Bryan

Discuss this post:

Comments are closed.