Amazon Fires up the Tablet market

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the Kindle Fire

Yesterday’s launch of Amazon’s new Tablet, the Kindle Fire, has stirred up all sorts of trouble for the other vendors in the same space.

Will Apple be hurting? A little bit, but it’s really RIM, Microsoft and the other Android tablets that are in for a tough time. Amazon seem to have created a lovely device and new web browser aimed at the mass market. There is plenty of people that want an iPad but don’t want to pay the premium for a Tablet. We all saw what happened when HP did a firesale on their Touchpads, the price point was just right for the mass market.

There are also plenty of people out there that love their Kindle’s and prefer the smaller form factor. I’m a new Kindle user. I read 4 books on holiday last week and loved the device. When my iPhone blew up I even tried out the Kindle browser. It wasn’t great, but it looks like Amazon have invested a lot of R&D to build their new Silk browser. It looks very slick and uses Amazon’s EC2 cloud to really optimize the user experience.

I think the Kindle Fire is really going to put huge pressure on Microsoft. Consumers are now seeing that you can buy really capable devices without having to spend the Steve Ballmer OS tax. Do users need Windows 8 and Office outside of the workspace? Not really.  And I think that the reality of this issue has hit home after the mass walkout during Ballmer’s speech at the Microsoft Company meeting last week.

But the key to Amazon’s success is going to be content. Their vast amount of books, magazines and music means that the Kindle is certain to be a must have device. Portable, slick, easy and powerful when on the Internet.  I have been trying to think what sort of people will buy one? To be honest at that price I think its pretty much aimed at everyone.  In today’s consumer market, it’s the content that is king. Amazon has that in bucket loads, and all on a device less than $200.

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Amazon, Kindle and the real Cloud Experience

Many of you will be just as impressed with the above advert for Kindle. I thought it was an excellent advertisement from Amazon detailing exactly how many devices / platforms they now support. Then I got thinking, surely this is the goal for all software vendors working in the Cloud. Don’t get hung up on whether the devices are PCs or Mac’s; Androids or iPhones; make your service consumable on as many platforms as possible to make life easier for the user.

I’d like to see Microsoft start thinking like this and perhaps create iPhone apps for Windows Live, allow me to sync information between Microsoft and non-Microsoft devices. As our new adverts on TV state, “to the cloud”; it would be nice if there was a richer experience across multiplatform to change some people’s perceptions of the organisation.