There’s lots of news over the last 24 hours about the release of the latest Kindle device (the Kindle Fire) and yet another browser coming to the marketplace. The Fire will have it’s own browser, named Silk, using the analogy of silk cloth of being made up of many individual threads. Amazon Inc are claiming the Silk architecture will improve the browser experience. I wonder if there’s more to this than meets the eye.
First, there’s undoubtedly going to be security concerns that all of your browsed content is going through Amazon’s servers and will be tracked, filtered and analysed. This is done to “improve the browsing experience” but ultimately gives Amazon access to a wealth of information on your personal browsing habits. The information would make great content for a retailer to trawl through but on a slightly more sinister angle could expose a lot of your personal information to hackers. One presumes secure HTTPS connections over SSL will still be secure, but everything else will be up for grabs.
My other thought arises from a comment made on the Silk website (see here). Amazon are making a virtue of the fact that many websites are on EC2 already today and so latency to their analysis servers will be very low. Does this mean that Silk offers Amazon an opportunity to cross-sell their EC2 platform to those organisations looking to deliver web content on the Kindle Fire? It seems like a clever business model. Host your web servers with us and we’ll get you closer to the user.
I’m not sure my browsing experience is so slow as to justify needing server-based acceleration at this time. Perhaps it will in the future, who knows. What I do know is I’ll be making sure I’m typing https:// rather than http:// wherever possible.