Kindle Fire: Fuelled By Amazon’s Investment In The Web [Opinion]

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Wow. Kindle Fire is going to be huge.

Amazon, like Apple, has lots of pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, and has pulled them all together in the Fire.

First, there’s the content: check. All the books, music and video you’re likely to want in an average lifetime is already in Amazon’s database. Apps? Yeah, they have them too.

Second, there’s the network: check. WhisperSync has proved itself as a helpful way of syncing your progress through your Amazon-purchased stuff as you read it on various devices. Now it’ll do the same for music and videos.

Third, there’s the storage: check. Amazon spent years building up Amazon Simple Storage, then using it as the backend for its consumer-oriented Cloud Drive cousin.

Fourth, the cloud computing capacity: check. S3 handles storage of files, but Elastic Cloud Compute is hard at work too, doing the bulk of the processing for Amazon’s new Silk web browser. The downside? It means Amazon knows what you’re browsing, and anticipating what you might click on next so it can pre-fetch those pages in the background. Some people will be worried about possible privacy issues; chances are most folk won’t give a damn.

Amazon, like Apple, has the whole product ecosystem all tied up and ready to go.

Also, like Apple, it is pricing these mothers to sell. At $199, the Fire is an extremely affordable gadget. Amazon’s desperate to get these things into people’s hands, because it’s like having the Amazon website under your very nose. Buying more stuff will be so easy.

The Kindle Fire is much cheaper than an iPad, but lacks many of the iPad’s features. Is that going to bother people? Perhaps it’s not as good as an iPad, but the Fire offers the essentials: web, media, email, social networking, games. For many people, that’s enough. Enough, for 200 bucks.

Over to you, Cult of Mac readers: will you buy one?