Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

Summary: Amazon's Silk 'cloud-accelerated' web browser is a game changer.

SHARE:

Lots of information coming out of Amazon.s Kindle press event today. There's a new $79 Kindle, a WiFi Kindle Touch for $99, a 3G Kindle Touch for $149 and the new Kindle Fire tablet for $199.

But out of all this mouthwatering hardware, it's a software innovation that interests me the most - it's Amazon Silk?

What is Amazon Silk? Put simply, Amazon Silk is a mobile web browser that's powered by Amazon's colossal EC2 web services platform. According to Amazon, 'Silk isn't just another browser.'

All of the browser subsystems are present on your Kindle Fire as well as on the AWS cloud computing platform. Each time you load a web page, Silk makes a dynamic decision about which of these subsystems will run locally and which will execute remotely. In short, Amazon Silk extends the boundaries of the browser, coupling the capabilities and interactivity of your local device with the massive computing power, memory, and network connectivity of our cloud.

So, it's a browser powered by cloud computing.

Amazon Silk is available exclusively for Kindle Fire users.

Topics: Emerging Tech, Amazon, CXO, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

16 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

    Don't you think it invades privacy? Because, every request I make from my browser will touch Amazon Cloud and then every response that server will return to the cloud. Is there any guarantee that Amazon is not going to retain that information and sell it. I know once it is on internet it is public, and that nonsense. But why do I need a via medium when I do my job? I see another Google in Amazon. Do no evil, but all your searches are ours to keep and sell.
    Ram U
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @Rama.NET I'd want to have a read of the privacy policy, that's for sure.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @Rama.NET

      Actually, it's much worse than what Google does with their searches. All of your browsing will be done with their cloud. If you do banking, it's on their cloud. If you pay bills, it's on their cloud.

      If you do anything at all, and I mean anything, it's on their cloud.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

        @Michael Alan Goff

        You raise interesting points. Like AKH stated in his return comment to Rama.Net, I would wish to see that privacy policy for myself as well.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

        I doubt many people will understand their privacy policy. They're written in legal.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @Rama.NET Geez, what about Facebook, MSN, Microsoft.<br><br>"Thats because the Like and Recommend buttons Facebook provides to other Web sites send information about your visit back to Facebook, even if you dont click on them. Since these buttons are now all over the Web about 905,000 sites use them, the privacy-software maker Abine estimates Facebook can find out an awful lot about what you do online even when youre not on Facebook."
      holyterror
      • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

        @holyterror
        But I don't do my bank transactions through Facebook or Microsoft. My request from browser goes to bank directly instead of making a call to browser maker data centers.
        Ram U
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @Rama.NET

      All your search are belong to us ;-)
      tonymcs1
      • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

        @tonymcs@... <br>Maybe you use IE & Bing bar with recommended settings. It's been proven that your searches belong to MS even if you are not searching on an MS site (eg. Google).
        anono
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @Rama.NET <br>I agree. You should use Bing. I'm sure MS never keeps your searches and uses them to try and sell you targeted ads. In addition, the evidence Google provided which show IE & Bing bar with recommended settings collect not only your searches in MS sites, but also other sites (like Google) was probably made up.
      anono
  • Re: Privacy

    It sounds like this latest move by Amazon brings them into the same playground as ISPs with direct access to user browsing habits. Privacy is hardly a new issue in this space.
    opensourceror
    • Re: Privacy - the next level

      @opensourceror Except that with good private/public key encryption (SSL), the ISP can't read my bank account information. It sounds like with Silk, Amazon will see everything, even secure data like my banking password.
      mrmikeprogrammer
  • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

    Why do you think Amazon and Google are the only companies tracking? Open your eyes.

    "Recently, online properties like Hulu, MSN and Flixster have been caught using a tougher version of the common cookie. These ???supercookies??? (aka ???Flash cookies??? and ???zombie cookies???) serve the same purpose as regular cookies by tracking user preferences and browsing histories. Unlike their popular cousins, however, this breed is difficult to detect and subsequently remove. These cookies secretly collect user data beyond the limitations of common industry practice, and thus raise serious privacy concerns.

    Supercookies are similar to the standard browser cookies most folks are familiar with, but are stored in different locations on a user???s machine, for example, in a file used by a plug-in (Flash is the most common). This makes them harder to find and delete, especially since a browser???s built-in cookie detection process won???t remove them either. Furthermore, some supercookies have additional capabilities, like regenerating regular cookies to prevent their removal by the user.

    To make matters worse, removing master supercookies is much more difficult. It requires the user to dig through the file system and delete them manually, an inconvenient task even for advanced users. The novice, on the other hand, likely won???t even realize supercookies exist, let alone be able to find them."
    holyterror
    • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

      @holyterror
      It is not cookie. "Each time you load a web page, Silk makes a dynamic decision about which of these subsystems will run locally and which will execute remotely. In short, Amazon Silk extends the boundaries of the browser, coupling the capabilities and interactivity of your local device with the massive computing power, memory, and network connectivity of our cloud."

      In other words, Amazon will read our request and parse it and decide whether to run that local or in the cloud. That means if my request is to a bank, amazon parses my request, reads my user id and password and decide. Now tell me does, Google, Microsoft, MSN, Hulu do the same, ie reading my user credentials and parse them. They just do tracking but this is more than tracking.
      Ram U
  • RE: Amazon Silk - The biggest Kindle innovation is not hardware, it's software

    Oh c'mon? Do you do your banking at your Starbucks, or McD free wifi? You have a choice, no one's forcing you to use the Kindle or Amazon for banking. How does Bing, MSN, Facebook, Spotifiy, etc etc make money? By monetizing your searches, same as Google et al. Why does your ISP redirect your search? To make money! Do you think companies are on the net to look out for you. Do you think all for profit companies are looking out for your own good. Wake up. By the way what do you think that privacy policy would say? Exactly the same as any other companies privacy legalese. Don't like it, don't use the Internet. <br><br>At least Amazon would keep it to themselves, whereas Facebook would broadcast it to the world. Maybe you oughta look at Facebooks numerous privacy controls and policies, one for each of your separate mouse clicks.
    holyterror
  • This ought to be disabled by default and opt in.

    Something tells me theres a huge fan here just waiting to get hit. If MS, google, apple had done this there'd be howling. When opera, amazon, etc do it its really the same.
    Johnny Vegas