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.

597 Responses to “Introducing Amazon Silk”

  1. Very cool. Good work guys

  2. Intrigued but leery of costs Reply September 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Sound concept to leverage the greater resources in the cloud. It’ll be of benefit to me only if I don’t find myself having to micro-manage me network usage because of data metering by my wireless/ISP provider.

  3. This look like a big proxy system …

  4. Alfred Siew (@alfsiew) Reply September 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    US$199 is the right price point and it’s good to see Amazon taking effort to develop a tablet that’s more than a cookie cutter Honeycomb device. Can’t wait to try Silk out.

  5. Please ! No more Web-browser !

  6. What will happen if the Amazon cloud goes down? . Do we loose all browsing capabilities on the tablet or does the tablet come to a craw trying to process all the info locally?

  7. I love some of you commenters. You’re hilarious. First off I’d imagine a handful of you making your wild accusations of an Amazon Government take over and extreme paranoia of your data probably wouldn’t even buy a Fire in the first place. This isn’t 1984. “Oh but big brother can happen if you just sit by idly without making a stand!” Yep, and you could be killed in a car accident driving to work in the morning — so you better just stay inside where it’s safe all day every day. All these things that -could- happen are far too scary so it’s best just to be a shut-in who uses the Private Browsing mode on a home made browser running OpenSUSE. You might want to all do a little research into your local internet providers too, surely they couldn’t be monitoring your traffic… could they?

    The internet needs to get real with this whole “but it’s MY data” business. Big deal. YES Some of that data is used for advertising. But one way or another you would be targeted with ads. Personally I’d prefer if that ads I’m seeing are at least somewhat relevant to my interests. Then there’s the other aspect of the data… the “Oh my gosh but what else are they doing it with it!?” They’re using it to optimize your experience. They’re using it to do things like mentioned before and predicting your next page click to load data faster.

    Typically user data is looked at a very macro level. If I’m given a data set of billions upon billions of entries I really do not care what a single user is doing. I care about trends. I care about doing things that will help the biggest percentage of users. I am not sitting there wasting my time fishing through John Doe’s personal information and then showing it off to my buddies. Guess what, you’re not that interesting, everyone does weird stuff every day and no one has time to care or waste looking into individuals.

  8. Given that Silk is an Amazon cloud dependent browser, and most non-Silk browsers depend on the local machine to process content…it’s apparent that there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. I see that “you can opt out of the Amazon “proxy” and operate in Basic mode”. However, rather than making that a setup choice…it should be available each time the user accesses new web content. After all, shouldn’t preservation of “user choice” be a fundamental building block to all publicly available software developments?

  9. Will all of this (cloud-based storage and EC2 integration of the Silk browser) work outside of North America?

  10. I don’t like the idea of having a middleman between me and the internet. Amazon will know everything you do on their Silk browser. Too intrusive for me. The reason I dont run Opera turbo or mini. I understand the reasoning behind it and in our day of Facebook. I doubt most people will care or understand that everything they do is being tracked, bought and sold.

  11. 6 minutes of nerds geeking out and no shot of the actual browser? Also, there are some MAJOR privacy concerns here.

  12. This is a good selling point but I am not sure I want all of my content being manhandled any more than it already is. I am currently planning on getting a Kindle Fire but.. I will need the option of using a different browser if I want. Apparently this is going to be the case (from the posts here) but I will need more assurance before I jump into this one.

  13. Would be interesting to see how it compares with the Opera browser. Are there any comparison stats on it?

  14. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite Amazon to follow the lead of other web browser vendors like Google and Opera (hopefully with similar contributions from Mozilla soon) and provide a Selenium WebDriver ( implementation for the Silk browser.

  15. This is a great concept. Love everything you have shown… except the requesting of a page before an individual needs it. That throws off website metrics. What if the user doesn’t go to the page you already requested for them?

    There are a lot of lawsuits waiting to happen in regards to how advertisers are charged on a website. And in regards to how data is reported.

    Is it ethical to pull a page that may not be used?

  16. I’m interested in how the privacy options are going to work. Do they store every website all their users go to in cache? Or are they only choosing specific ones? Do we need to pay for the EC2 backend?

    Silk is an interesting name… It’ll be fun to see how this plays out.

  17. Spencer Hochstetler Reply September 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    It is good

  18. Spencer Hochstetler Reply September 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm


  19. it’s b.s. because there is no 3g connection. Web pages load fine on my iphone when I have wifi access.

  20. If you don’t like Silk you can run it in basic mode and its pretty much like any other browser.

  21. Is there going to be a Firefox browser version that will run on this?


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