Kindle Fire first boot by the numbers

Amazon is aiming the Kindle Fire at mainstream consumers, and has created an out-of-box experience that is as good as anything I have seen.

The Kindle Fire arrived without fanfare this afternoon and in five minutes was up and running. The tablet is aimed at the mainstream consumer, and Amazon hit a home run with the out-of-box experience (OOBE). In typical Amazon fashion, aimed at practicality and cost effectiveness, the shipping box is the actual device box.

1. You pull a strip to open it, and the Kindle Fire is right there ready to go. There is only the tablet, power adapter, and a small "getting started" card. Most buyers won't need the card, but it's there just in case.

2. Once the tablet is removed from the protective clear plastic pouch, a simple touch of the power button on the bottom of the device, which glows a pleasant orange, is all it takes to get the Kindle Fire running.

3. The boot identified available Wi-Fi hotspots, and once I selected my home network and entered the credentials, the Kindle Fire sprung to life.

4. The Kindle Fire welcomed me to the device, as it already knew who I was and registered the device to my Amazon account. It asked for my home time zone, which changed the time to the correct time.

5. A software update was next on the agenda, and after confirmation it downloaded and installed no problem.

6. A quick reboot finished the system update, and then the Kindle Fire was fully operational. A quick tutorial showed the basic operation of the interface, and then the tablet was good to go. All of my vast music in the cloud, and ebooks I have bought from Amazon were all sitting there waiting for me at this point. This is outstanding for existing Amazon customers like me, as it creates an actual bond with the tablet just out of the box. It is comforting to see that Amazon knows who you are, and has all of your stuff waiting for you.

What impresses me so much about this OOBE is how it started with the shipping container. Nothing was needed to cut into a box to get to another box, just a simple pull of a zipper and the Kindle Fire was ready to get going. The entire process only took five minutes, including the software update.

The entire first boot process was painless, and great care was taken to get buyers of any technical level up and running. Everything was clearly explained, demonstrated, and automated whenever possible to get the new owner up and running not only without stress, but with anticipation. I give Amazon an A+ on the OOBE with the Kindle Fire.

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