|Will Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, blanket the internet with Silk?|
Amazon is registering Silk-based domains by the hundreds, possibly indicating the future availability of the day-old Amazon Fire’s browser on more platforms. Of course, the domain registrations could be defensive, but 500 domains is an awful lot for a browser meant to live on a single tablet island. I prefer to think that Amazon’s registration of SilkSmartphone.com means that soon I can browse faster on my android phone.
Silk browsers for PCs, Macs and mobile devices would be a good move, Amazon. If you own the browser, you can suggest your services. “What do you want to do? Watch, Listen, Read, Play, Shop?” I’m envisioning a browser toolbar with tabletesque icons for each action that look delicious and seduce you to click. An Amazon browser that makes it easiest to consume Amazon products and media, plus collects all your browsing data to feed the Amazon machine, is a no-brainer.
What does the user get? Faster browsing thanks to Silk’s split processing scheme, using the power of Amazon’s cloud to condense and render pages faster than the device’s processors can alone. Well, on mobile devices anyway. And only for sites hosted in Amazon’s cloud. But still. There’s an interesting proposition there for mobile browsing, where load times over 3G or slower connections can feel like an eternity.
I’m not sure what a desktop user would get out of the deal. Maybe data syncing and consistency of user experience between platforms? There’s something to be said for that. Google offers data syncing with Android, but it’s spotty in the browser. For instance, I use Chrome on my desktop, and the stock browsers on my android phone and tablet. I have all three set to sync browser data. My ASUS Transformer pulls in my bookmarks from Chrome without issue, but my HTC Thunderbolt refuses to acknowledge their existence. This one small feature alone would prompt me to at least try Amazon’s Silk browser across multiple platforms, including the desktop.
It seems there will be some smart caching involved as well, which I’m not so keen on. I want the web page I requested with the latest content, not a view of how the web looked 10 minutes ago. I suppose Amazon could be building in some freshness intelligence so that news sources, social media and other “now” content are delivered in realtime, but the thought of my browser controlling the accuracy (that’s what freshness is, really) of the information I consume is alarming. No thank you.
Of course that assumes that Amazon’s cloud can handle the initial wave of tablet users. I can’t imagine the number of Kindle Fire surfers would be so great as to make the cloud unstable, but it’s certainly wise to test it before tossing it out to the rest of the world. Especially when big businesses are relying on the cloud’s stability for their own livelihood. Not a risk to take lightly, even for all the browsing data in the world.