The Kindle Fire & Your Small Business

Well, folks, the Kindle Fire has been out for some time now, and the word that’s coming back so far is something of a mixed bag. It’s not the iPad killer some had thought it to be–at least, not yet–but it does have more than a little potential to be useful, if nothing else.

While Siri was the biggest part of Apple’s recent launch, easily the biggest feature of the Kindle Fire’s launch was the Silk browser. And the Silk browser itself has spawned a lot of security issues in its own right. See, the Silk browser uses Amazon’s cloud services as a way to boost the speed on loading websites. A faster loading website means you can gather information faster, and more efficiently, thus in something of a roundabout fashion, saving you money. It uses what’s known as “dynamic split browsing”, a kind of service that allows you to keep some stuff on the Kindle Fire itself so it can provide those faster load times. Further, it also offers up what’s called “automatic downsampling”, which automatically adjusts the size of an image being loaded so that you’re not trying to load a full, desktop-sized image on that little seven inch screen.

And while these are well-received features–just going on Amazon reveals that just under thirty two hundred people have reviewed their Kindle Fires and the average score is a four out of five, and nearly half of them give it a full five–there have also been many concerns about privacy. See, those same cloud services that boost the speed on loading websites also pose a risk in terms of privacy by allowing some documents to be read and intercepted on your local machine, if someone were to get their hands on it.

Amazon quickly responded to the issues in question following an investigation by Congress, which revealed that cloud acceleration could be turned off and on as desired, so you could simply remove cloud acceleration at any time, but you’d lose the acceleration to boot. Plus, Amazon doesn’t send any encrypted websites through the cloud, and also maintains that no personal information that could be used to identify you is actually collected as part of the Silk browsing process.

But what does this mean for your small business? Well, basically, you’ll be able to address the security issues as you like, and still have a solid platform from which to work. You’ll have to be vigilant, of course, but considering how many of these Amazon has already sold, and how many of them have been well-received, it may just be the kind of information retrieval tool your small business has been needing.

Related keywords: Tablet PC, web browsing, cloud services, Amazon