Amazon Silk Stories September 29, 2011

Amazon yesterday outed its Kindle Fire tablet, the lower-priced $79 Kindle and the new $99 Kindle touch. They also unveiled a brand new browser written exclusively for the Kindle Fire, dubbed Silk. There has been some concern among web developers about the browser’s rendering engine given how numerous web sites are optimized for the open-sourced WebKit rendering engine. According to a post by Mike Mainguy, a software architect with Lemans Corporation, the Silk browser does leverage WebKit as its rendering engine. Moreover, it also employs SPDY, Google’s optimized hypertext transfer protocol introduced in late 2009 as part of the search giant’s “Let’s make the web faster” initiative. It’s currently used in Chrome and now in Amazon’s Silk browser, too. Mainguy explains:

All told this isn’t as big a technological change at the front end and is more of a story about amazon trying to use their infrastructure to make the mobile browsing experience better.  Frankly, this is a scaled up and modernized version of what blackberry did years ago (are they still doing that?).

It appears that Amazon combined SPDY with Amazon Web Services to caches files and offload page rendering to the cloud, depending on workload. According to the Silk team:

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Amazon Silk Stories September 28, 2011

Amazon has just unveiled at a press conference in New York its inaugural seven-inch tablet and a new family of Kindle e-readers that now include the $99 Kindle Touch and the low-priced regular Kindle which retails for just $99. Seth Weintraub is on the scene and the latest information includes the news that Amazon will be rolling out its own brand new browser for the Fire tablet, named Silk.

The company set up a new blog for the Silk team and their first blog postexplains that Silk is “an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire. According to a promo clip included above, a “split browser” architecture (kinda similar to Opera’s Turbo mode) taps the Amazon cloud which caches files (limitless caching) and does the heavy-lifting, depending on workload. It’s a smart approach which offload page rendering to Amazon Web Services, resulting in faster page load times. And here’s what’s so smart about it, according to the Silk team:

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