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Amazon's Silky Web Browser May Go PC, Android

By - Source: TechRadar | B 12 comments

A recent batch of domain names purchased by Amazon hints to a possible Silk release on the PC, Android and Mac.

Wednesday Amazon said that its just-announced web browser, Silk, would be an exclusive to the Kindle Fire Android tablet. The company described the "split browser" as cloud-based, as it will reside on both the end-user's device and Amazon's massive Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) server fleet, the latter of which will pre-cache user web browsing. With each page request, Silk will dynamically determine a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2, ultimately providing a faster web browsing experience (we give a thorough explanation on how Silk works here).

But now there's indication that the web browser may find its way onto other devices. According to reports, Amazon has scooped up over 500 new domain names including, and Naturally the company may simply be shelling out money to keep its Silk brand out of the hands of cybersquatters and the like. The domain purchases were even reportedly made through MarkMonitor, a brand protection agency.

So then case closed? Maybe not. Possible cloud browser rival OnLive was supposedly releasing a cloud-based web browser over the summer, but so far it hasn't appeared. The company is currently working to push the OnLive Player app out the door for tablets, and that's not expected to arrive for another month at the least (soon). That said, the OnLive browser will likely launch sometime after that.

According to the company, the browser will allow Flash, Quicktime, Silverlight and other software to be rendered on the server just like the company's PC game offering. The pre-rendered data will then be streamed directly to users from the company's 10 GB/s servers. Ultimately this means that web content and streaming multimedia, no matter the definition, can be viewed across multiple devices universally including a tablet, smartphone, and even an old AGP-based PC.

"On any device that you’re going to be using the OnLive system, there is a browser," OnLive CEO Steve Perlman stated in an interview. "Whether it’s a tablet, or whether it’s a PC or Mac, you do have a browser. We don’t feel the need to completely replace the browser you have. What we would rather do is give you a browser that accelerates things that are tough to do with a local browser."

Of course, there will have to be some balancing in regards to the cloud-based browser and the actual gaming service.

"The current plan is just to let it out there, to have it one of the features of the (free) service," Perlman said. "It’s complicated because we have to go and be reasonable about usage. If people go nuts on this thing, and for example, it provides flash capabilities to iPad, you can easily see how people can go and just use it; forget the game service and just use it for that. What we’re going to do is kind of monitor it, and see what kind of (demo)graphic and usage we have. If people are being reasonable, that’s fantastic. We’ll let them go wild on it."

It would be interesting to see how Amazon's Silk performs up against OnLive's own browser, but for the moment, neither are available. Then again, Silk may never come to the PC despite Amazon's newly-acquired domain name hinting otherwise.

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  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 30, 2011 1:08 PM
    Well, that nonsense is not going to MY PC, that's for sure.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 1:37 PM
    I wonder if they want to buy from me :) 
  • 2 Hide
    species8472 , September 30, 2011 1:46 PM
    OnLive will NEVER I repeat, NEVER have a presence on my machine in any way, shape, or form. It is an insult to power gamers everywhere who demand quality visuals and control of their gaming experiences.
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Goldengoose , September 30, 2011 2:00 PM
    species8472OnLive will NEVER I repeat, NEVER have a presence on my machine in any way, shape, or form. It is an insult to power gamers everywhere who demand quality visuals and control of their gaming experiences.

    And yet power gamers are a niche market - there is a market for casual gamers who don't want to fork out for a $2000 PC, but still want to play the up-to-date titles. So it doesn't apply to YOU, this does not mean it won't apply for someone else
  • 0 Hide
    tipoo , September 30, 2011 2:48 PM
    Not sure how much benefit there would be to PC's with beefy processors, DNS caching, full featured browsers, etc.
  • 4 Hide
    halls , September 30, 2011 2:51 PM
    species8472OnLive will NEVER I repeat, NEVER have a presence on my machine in any way, shape, or form. It is an insult to power gamers everywhere who demand quality visuals and control of their gaming experiences.

    "If people don't play games MY way, it is stupid and pointless!"
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 2:57 PM
    Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husbands coz Onlive is rapin' everybody out here!
  • -1 Hide
    tanjo , September 30, 2011 5:04 PM
    Cloud powered browser for PC? Seriously?
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 30, 2011 7:55 PM
    Make a 64-bit version of it and I'm sold.
  • -1 Hide
    phate , September 30, 2011 8:58 PM
    PC? So it will run on my Ubuntu box? Oh, you really meant to say Windows right?
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 1, 2011 10:04 AM
    Interesting...if strongly tied to Amazon services (which I'm sure it will) it can present a tougher challenge to others like Netflix.
  • 0 Hide
    thaden0 , October 3, 2011 2:36 AM
    @species8472: Your old and busted grandpa; try and keep up, Ill talk slow. High end pcs are great, I use them for most of my gaming. On-Live is new technology that already has some great uses; portability being a big one. Cross platform is yet another. By next year on-live customers will be playing games on their Android or Apple datapads from the toilet that you wont be able to run on your beast machine because you are due for an upgrade.

    You don't want to wait for the internet speeds to give you higher resolution, great. Go for running the games local. As others have said, On-Live is not for you. New technology is not for everyone. But it is for others who know how to use it.
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