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Nice trip on the way-back machine with the Timex-Sinclair reference. I remember wanting one of those little machines so much when I was a kid.
As for the Kindle Fire, I agree with jimlynch that it is more of a product that serves as a gateway to Amazon products and content than a serious tool for businesses. What I think that Amazon has done is raise the awareness of tablets among the wider public, and make tablets something that is a more mainstream product instead of the domain of the tech savy, businesses and early adopters. Still, there are ~300 million Americans, so 296 Million of them didn't get a Kindle Fire, so I wouldn't overestimate the impact.
There was an article that I read this morning that reported 89% of companies with 501-999 employees intend to purchase new tablets in the coming year. I find that number surprisingly high, and although I have nothing to support this, I would not be surprised is some of those potential sales are influenced by all the press about tablets generated by the Kindle Fire. On the other hand, pretty much all the business surveyed indicated that the tables they intend to purchase will be iPads, which is a much more appropriate choice for actual productive use than a Fire. http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/12/29/most_smallmedium_business_...