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There is something interesting about the announcement of Kindle Fire today by Amazon.

If you go through the announcement or the product’s webpage, unlike other tablets, there is no emphasis on the storage capacity of the device (16GB or 32GB etc). In fact Cloud is to be used as the primary storage (not secondary or backup storage).  Its a bold move and Apple cannot denigrate Amazon as a copycat; as it was allowed to do by most of the other manufacturers of the tablets. The fundamental architecture of most of the other tablets was indeed a copy of iPad’s architecture. Kindle Fire is fundamentally a different animal. Amazon is one of the few companies which have the infrastructure and expertise to use extensive Cloud services at the backend. This may translate into huge cost and scalability advantages.

But not that fast…

It is still risky. The use of Clouds in this form will have some technical implications that need to be looked into carefully. It remains to be seen how satisfactory would be the end-user experience, especially while using multimedia data. There will have to be some intelligent cachcing at the tablet to account for the unpredictable jitter and latency of the WiFi connections. It may become a bottleneck and hence a show-stopper, ruining all the superfast services and ultra-optimized infrastructure deployed by Amazon at the backend.

This pricing by Amazon also seems to be a new business model for tablets as well, where the manufacturer is prepared to sell the device at some loss in the hope of making profit from the sales of the digital contents (books, movies, games and apps).

It is potentially a game-changer in the novice tablet market…whether it will actually change the game.. remains to be seen.

Lets wait a bit. 15th November is not that far after all.

Imran Ahmad, PhD (Cloud Computing)


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