Competition for Chrome and Firefox? Amazon surveys customers about web browsers

Amazon is apparently thinking about developing its own web browser for desktops and laptops. At least that is what a survey that the software and advertising group sent to some customers suggests. In the meantime, the deadline for answering the questions has expired.

As Nicholas De Leon, reporter at Consumer Reports, announced on Twitter, Amazon asked parts of its customers to “take part in a short 5-minute survey via web browser”. Additional screenshots carry the full-bodied promise that attendees would “contribute to innovations that make surfing easier for millions of people around the world.”

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A look at the questions – also from screenshots by De Leon – suggests that Amazon may be considering developing its own browser. In addition to asking questions about respondents’ feature preferences and browser usage, the screenshots also show that Amazon is inquiring about how “a new desktop/laptop browser” might persuade respondents to download the product themselves. However, the clearest indication of the company’s possible browser plans is the final question that prompts respondents: “Imagine there is a new desktop/laptop browser from Amazon that is available to you”. This is followed by questions about functions that are particularly relevant in the Amazon cosmos: for example about the integration of Alexa or “shopping-specific” functions.

The query hidden in the collection of questions about the importance of a feature that would allow users to block third-party cookies is also exciting. In recent years, the end of tracking cookies has been discussed time and again, and Google, as the largest advertising broker, brought several more or less promising candidates into the running.

With Amazon Silk, the group already has its own browser in its portfolio. Silk, which first appeared in 2011, is currently only used on the manufacturer’s own devices such as the Kindle Fire tablet and Fire TV Sticks. However, the survey does not reveal whether Silk is to come for other operating systems and types of devices, or whether it is a completely new product. However, it is unlikely that Amazon is asking its users for a broader in-house browser without any ulterior motive.

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