Introducing Amazon Silk

Today in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire.  You might be asking, “A browser?  Do we really need another one?”  As you’ll see in the video below, Silk isn’t just another browser.  We sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers.  Instead of a device-siloed software application, Amazon Silk deploys a split-architecture.  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.

We’ll have a lot more to say about Amazon Silk in the coming weeks and months, so please check back with us often.  You can also follow us on Twitter at @AmazonSilk.  Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about career opportunities on the Amazon Silk team, please visit our jobs page.

810 Responses to “Introducing Amazon Silk”

  1. Outstanding Amazon! Build a browser that has a cloud component! Talking about making it easier to track our personal information for ad targeting! You even tell us that it can do it by serving use pages we don’t even know we need, just like every other “As seen on TV!”

  2. Well, the browser may have changed, but your marketing hasn’t.

    There are so many women and people of color in IT/design/marketing, why does this video only feature white men? C’mon Amazon, it’s 2011.

  3. I have to admit this actually makes sense. The example of how they reduce the size of graphic files alone tells me that this should work extremely well for pads.

  4. In my system, the bottleneck is connectivity. Being in a relatively remote location, I’m dependent on satellite internet (long latency, poor service, low bandwidth) and a highly directional antenna pointed at a cell tower 40 miles away. When working, this cellular “3G” data link is faster than the satellite but it is unreliable. Rain, snow or even heavy fog craters it.
    Cloud-centric computing seems to me to be based on the assumption that the local hardware is the limiting factor, and that connectivity is not a concern. So, for those with less than reliable connections (such as travelers – a target market for portable devices), doesn’t this result in poor performance. (Try running an data-heavy application from your tablet while in a car in between cities, or at your observatory on a mountaintop, or flying your plane across New Mexico). These are all routine situations where connectivity is intermittent.

    Regards,
    Gary Burk

  5. Silk might just change the way we think about and design web pages

  6. So why is everything being stored in the cloud? Are you guys the first to think of this? There must pro both pro’s and CONS to this. I’m in IT, and I totally understand the model, however, anyone will tell you that the SAFEST thing to do with your data is to have it stored in more than one place. Are (we) not not putting all all eggs in one basket here? And yes, I do understand that your cloud/storage will be backed-up. Why not just put a minimum amount of memory in the Kindle AND then store your data in the cloud and back it up to your Kindle? The price is great, but are you trying to save a little money buy not having any (real) amount of storage on the Kindle and going with the economies of scale with the cloud? Be careful.

    I do also have to say that while I think your color Kindle/Fire/and internet access will definitively be the deal to beat, I’m frustrated that I paid a-lot of money for my now obsolete tired (old) Kindle…what am I supposed to do here Jeff? I’m a HUGE fan and supporter of you and Amazon, but maybe come up with like maybe a credit if you currently own a Kindle that you purchased from Amazon…?

    Anyway, I’m VERY excited here!!!

    Cheers Jeff/Amazon

  7. Engineer: “Hey, We should use Opera Turbo to accelerate web pages!”
    Manager: “Hey, We should use Amazon Silk to accelerate web pages!”
    Engineer: “Hey, I just said that, you just said the same thing just changed the name…”
    Manager: “Yes, but mine sounds better”

  8. This sounds great! I can’t wait to get my hands on a Kindle Fire and test out the Silk browser. It sounds sweet!

  9. Is there a monthly charge for use of the browser….internet?
    Once you purchase the Fire can you use all it’s many talents without additional fees?

  10. There is nothing new under the sun, and, in particular, split browsing is not a new idea. The second cell phone I had that had web access (1998ish, I think) was a device that used a special browser to covert html into hdml (remember that steaming pile? Special limited language that could be interpreted by cell phones)? and for a long time, google would convert web pages into hdml when it scanned them so that you could access web pages by google searching them when you could not access them directly. But if you didn’t access the stuff by google, you had some chance of accessing it by the web converter that was maintained by the cell company, and the idea was exactly the same.

    A low capability browser on the device, an intermediate converter on a server somewhere that looks at what is coming from the web and downconverting it to a kinder,simpler version? Combine that with the equivalent of squid, and that is essentially the tech. No doubt you have a nicer version.

    I do have one question: What happens when I visit my bank’s web page and check my account balance? Usually, there is end-to-end encrypton, and no one at an intermediate site can see my https pages. how does that work?

  11. I bought my Kindle only 9 months ago. Why is Amazon not offering a trade infor the new Fire? October 5, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I bought my Kindle only 9 months ago. Why is Amazon not offering a trade infor the new Fire?

  12. How do you hadle secure http (https) connection ?

    Also are you implementing a TCP acceleration to overcome the delay associated with TCP connection ?

  13. Hi team

    Sounds great! Does the silk cloud extend to Australia??

    If not when?

    Regards – Deborah

  14. NewComer question: I pre-ordered the Fire. Will I also have to have a phone system to operate it? (I can find nothing about that in the literature I’ve read so far.

    I have a MacIntosh with only high-speed internet – and Magic Jack for all my long-distance.

    Where does Fire come in there? Do I need to buy Wi-Fi – anything else?

    Or, should I cancel my pre-order. I’m not buying a wireless phone system.

    Thank you!

    Dennis

  15. Great work. Thank you.

  16. Opera browsers has it by default. Amazon team has reinvented th wheel. Congrats !! ;-))

  17. seeing is believing
    Wanna see it live first

  18. Talking heads and no video on how it works. BAH HUMBUG!!! Obviously designed for geeks and not the simple minded liberal arts people.

  19. What happens to the camera on the Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

  20. Awesome Job! Thinking outside the box to improve the user experience with increased speed along with a cool new device to connect with is a winning combination.

  21. does the Kindle fire have capacitive or resistive touch screen?

  22. Sounds like a solution for a problem nobody has. All browsers in use today cache data which the HTTP server says it’s OK to cache. A 16 GB microSD card costs $20. I don’t think cache space is an issue.

  23. does it provide wi-fi hotspot facility ?

  24. I’d like to try this new Amazon Silk and see the difference from today’s famous Firefox and Chrome. I’m excited to learn new features from this new browser that makes our work fast and easy. I’m sure they have prepared your “wow” effect upon releasing. Thanks for posting…good read! ;)

  25. I think the traditional way of doing browsing is still going to top this. In the end, you don’t need tens of gigabytes of cache to view web pages, you don’t need Amazon’s backend, broadband is coming everywhere in the world where anyone would have access to and appropriate use of the web… the only use the cloud would have and already has, is for running applications. That’s all I see. Use the cloud to host your apps, produce results faster and then send them back to the user. No need for another web browser. There are too many web browsers already. Besides, what’s stopping Google from adding an optional “smart” proxy to Chrome that would do the same things Amazon advertises? Seems like a wasted effort to me either way.

  26. I want to write my own programs on this unit … what languages are available ?

  27. why is Oct 3 my latest update showing?

  28. Can we load a copy of “SILK” to our normal computer to use it to see how well it works on a day to day basis?

  29. I want this one with 4G availability also so I can download more books and stuff when camping or at the river. so I’ll wait until you have one with both wireless and 4G/3G capability.

  30. I think This Tech is awesome. but what about personal privacy? All the information has been handled by Amazon Web Service.

  31. I can’t seem to find this info anywhere….is there a monthly fee for silk and do you have to have amazon prime to use the kindle fire?

  32. Looking forward to trying out the Kindle Fire and Silk. Great work guys

  33. I must say … I like the direction Amazon are taking … but it’s quite yucky how the marketing department are slavishly copying Apple’s style.

    Lot’s of “revolutionary” and “beautiful” things going on (yea right) … 10 squillion songs … etc … if someone says “gorgeous” any time soon, I’ll throw up.

    To be honest, I’ve had a stomach full of it … be creative guys.

    (Not affiliated with Apple in anyway. I’m an Android mobi, with a PC).

  34. It would be great to know when the tablet Fire will be viable in Europe. UK buyers in particular are desperate for a realistic alternative to the iPad. The Kindle Fire looks like it could be “it” but only if the cloud based web browser is usable (and legal) in the EU.

  35. Questions? In the near future, will “Kindle Fire” going to have free 3G added for Amazon Prime member? Will kindle Fire have smartphone capability?
    Amazon big fan.

  36. will/when will Silk be available on Windows,Linux,Mac,etc?

  37. Everything about Amazon is super awesome. I can’t wait to get my hands on the Kindle Fire and experience this super browser!

  38. I love my fire, but I cannot connect most of the time outside my home because everyone has secured servers. When I used my kindle 2, I had no problems…..

  39. Good ideas on better ways to move data through the Information SuperHighway… although Prodigy was doing something similar 2 decades ago, and it didn’t make many of us happy then.
    Here are my thoughts on the matter of why things are getting so damned slow and squirrely —

    How to reduce latency and speed page loads:

    Cut out push downloads of Java Apps nobody wants, giant graphics nobody needs, and Flash and other multimedia content which nobody has asked for, but the web site thinks will be so cool to show the visitor when they happen to roll their mouse cursor over a bitmap image, HTML link, photo, etc., often in an attempt to merely stop loading the page or close it altogether…

    Stop relying on giant server farms such as akamai who deliver content from websites before such content (usually the huge graphics and multimedia, but also executables, zip & cab archives, and other operating system, browser, and application updates that many don’t even know about or how to change the default “auto download and install” Internet Options. Because those very sites, meant to speed up the Internet browsing experience, often become the very bottleneck when such sites themselves experience technical problems or are bogged down (such as when MS rolls out Service Packs en masse).

    In short, allow WE the PEOPLE at the other end of the browser to determine WHAT we see, when, and from whom. We understand you’re all trying to make millions through advertising, but PLEASE, use some common sense and decency to limit how much you push our way!

  40. I have got Three pieces of Amazon Kindle Fire running the Silk browser …. but actually I was disappointed of an important matter for me and a lot in the region …. I could never browse any Arabic website as the silk encoding doesn’t support Arabic !!!
    I wonder .. shall I gave them back and go for iPad ?!?!?!

  41. Your question is: “A browser? Do we really need another one?” My answer is clearly: NO and again NO! Just because it is cool to have an App for every stupid thing in this world, it is not at all necessary to develop a new browser for every single application. Just take the CHROME core and go on. Would make it all more compatible.

  42. I’ll admit… I’m excited about it. Even though there are already many browser options, competition breeds advancement, correct?

  43. It’s amazing that technology has brought up so far in such a short amount of time. The future is in the Clouds. This isn’t new technology, but just like Apple took existing technology and put it together in such a way as to make the iphone superior to other phones. Good technology is just that, good technology until someone comes up with a creative way to use the technology. We’ve just scratched the surface with cloud technology so far. Within a few years, we’ll only run remote controls to our personal supercomputer cloud. It will allow piggybacking of multiple users to see the same page or site. This in turn with reduce internet traffic as we know it. Creating faster networks, reducing bottlenecks and increasing the size of the bottle. Silk is a very innovative browser, and just a peek around the corner at what’s next.

  44. Sounds horrible to me as a webdeveloper. So many company’s tried to optimize code and the result is: broken pages, unhappy visitors, unhappy page owners (because of higher prices and unhappy visitors). Leave the improvement to the developers of each page, a global solution can never be better than that.
    One more browser to test, one more which requires some code modifications or hacks, I think we really have enough of them…

  45. I’d be happy if I could get this thing to send an e mail¡ it even print an exclamation point upside down.if it was a car, it’d be recalled.

  46. Amazon’s New Video Chat? Like Skype? Like ooVoo?

  47. Silk is a killer web browser, I still like google’s chrome but none the less Silk is a good choice also!

  48. Dear people, does anybody know if Silk can support custom fonts? How about Unicode fonts? Any way to control the font usage?
    Also, are there any limitations on the Adobe Flash support?
    Thank you

  49. Really great job! Thanks so much. One of few I could really understand. You may have guessed, I am one of the oldies you spoke about. And you are 100% correct that I prefer “ease of use” over “number of apps”. Think I’ll buy a Kindle when my next retirement check comes. My daughter, a mathmatics teacher, has one and likes it very much. Your review was easy to understand, thorough, and to the point. JE

  50. “We’ll have a lot more to say about Amazon Silk in the coming weeks and months …”

    OK …

  51. It is good to see innovation in the browser space. I also like how Amazon is stepping up and looking to compete with Google. I expect a big splash when it finally makes it to Windows and Mac.

  52. It has to be better than IE. that is all.

  53. What is it about this product that people go mad
    for?

  54. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.

    The text in your content seem to be running off the screen
    in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon.
    Cheers

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