Amazon's Silk disrupts the microprocessor race
Amazon claims its Kindle, running the new Silk browser, will be able to provide performance and user experience comparable to that which you are accustomed to from an iPad or laptop, but on hardware that is far cheaper and inferior. If they are able to deliver on this promise, Amazon will be ushering the end of the microprocessor race between Intel, AMD and others. However, I suspect they are not quite there yet.
For years, we - the consumer - have had to upgrade our processors on a periodic basis, as software vendors have increased the processing capabilities of the hardware they've required. For example, each new version of Windows has gotten bulkier and graphically more intensive. Yet, this is not what most consumers want. By moving much of the processing to the cloud, consumers no longer need to play this game. Amazon will take care of the computation for us by pre-processing the necessary computation so it is done on their EC2 clouds, rather than on your device.
Yet to fully realize the dream of moving all the computation to the cloud - Amazon needs to do something radical. Amazon needs to create its own communication protocol between the Silk browser on the Kindle and Amazon EC2 servers where the processing is done. This is the best way to pre-process the web content so it is easier to render on inferior devices. Since the standard HTML protocol is verbose, using a proprietary protocol will also reduce the bandwidth required to transmit the data. I suspect Amazon has not yet quite realized this.