The most intriguing aspect of this from my point of view is the bandwidth requirement. Up until now, Amazon has had the ability to download books and do WhisperSync over 3G networks, but the bandwidth requirement has been tiny - to download a book in text is kilobytes. Now, with web browsing and especially video, their aggregate requirements will be huge. How is that being paid for? As I understand the Fire announcement, as long as you have Prime subscription, you don't have to pay anything additional for the connection. That alone is going to make it attractive to people fed up with AT&Ts charges.
The shift from printed paper to electronic screen will no doubt be an interesting ponder for future historians. The portable information display was included by A.C. Clarke in his book "2001", and future implications are touched on in the following passage quoted from R.A. Heinlein's "The Tale of the Twins Who Weren't":
"... After supper he got his reward: permission to read a BOUND book, with him dressed in a pair of my surgical gloves and warned that I would clobber him if he got it dirty or tore a page. Llita wasn't permitted to touch it; this was HIS prize. She sulked and didn't even want to use the reading machine - until he asked if it was all right for him to read aloud to her."
While I have to agree with Rick that a larger 10" screen size is preferred by most, the smaller 7" screen size is actually one of the Fire's benefits. By keeping the size small, Amazon has addressed a major concern ... portability. Have you ever tried to put a tablet into your jacket pocket? It just won't fit (Samsung 7" Galaxy excluded). At least Amazon got something right
Agreed. And though you choose to downplay the price, I think it will actually be a dominant factor in cost sensitive markets like India. It could be huge if Amazon could add services which find audience among the target crowd there.
Amazon Silk can be a darling but at the same time it can be a nightmare to the users. As all the web traffic first get routed to Amazon's servers before downloaded to the users, Amazon can and will track all the websites that the users have visited. The privacy issue will be magnified if someone hacked into Amazon's servers. We the users should know all these potential pitfalls before embracing the new browser.
amazon silk is not the first browser to do backend reprocessing of webpages. Opera mobile/mini browser already does this. Some people dont like it due to security issues, as as all the traffic passes thru opera servers. Amazon may be more trusted by people and it comes pre installed as opposed to opera.
I think this: "Thus Amazon is also challenging Microsoft's once dominant spot in browsers." is probably an overstatement. I mean, every browser, to an extent, is challenging ie, but a new browser to be introduced on a single platform has a long way to go before it's challenging anyone's dominance.
abraxalito is probably closer to an accurate description of the situation. Silk will be just another niche browser for quite some time. It may eventually come to be a contender for the dominant spot, but the other browsers listed have quite a head start on the path to that position.
Amazon can leverage on its cloud service to build up a consumer base. The free storage on cloud servers can help them keep the BOM in check as it will ease the hardware requirement. I would think it as a wise step.