The big news of the Kindle Fire announcement was the price point. $199 ridiculous dollars for something that doesn't offer nearly the power and capability of an iPad but for 40% of the price. Nuts.
But what about this browser Amazon trotted out? The one that has a device-based front end and a back end as big as the clouds (insert Sir Mix-a-Lot joke here).
One early advantage of this product is likely to be fewer "handshakes," or short identification steps, between the device and the Internet. After an initial signal, the authentication happens within Amazon's powerful computers, which move signals faster than can travel through a wireless network. Templates used in the format of Web pages can also be preloaded, so things pop up faster.
Longer term, Silk will monitor consumer behavior, and Amazon's machines will predict from past behavior where a customer is likely to go next. If you often move from reading, say, The New York Times's front page to the Bits blog, Amazon computers will request that page ahead of time and have it preloaded for when you do make that move.
Right now, Silk will be pretty restricted, it'll work on Amazon's cloud but not on anyone else's. If that's where it stops, Silk will be niche. If it expands, it could be huge.
Why? Because here's why:
Fire is a refutation of processing power, Fire is a refutation of memory mattering, Fire is a whole-hearted endorsement of cloud. Your device's memory and processing power is equivalent of Amazon's whole dang cloud bank. Again, that's great as long as the cloud never goes down.