Microsoft Officially Releases Lumia 550 Budget Windows 10 Phone

Today's topics include the release of Microsoft’s Lumia 550 Windows 10 phone, Microsoft's decision to open-source its Chakra JavaScript engine, speculation that Samsung will design its next-generation Galaxy S7 smartphone line with liquid cooling, and a market research firms says PC shipments will decline again in the fourth quarter.

Microsoft’s Devices group announced the official launch of the new Microsoft Lumia 550, which the company is marketing as a low-cost smartphone for buyers on a budget.

Sales started Sept. 7 in Europe and will be released on other international markets in the coming days, according to Microsoft. With a price tag of $139, Microsoft says the Lumia 550 is the company's most affordable 4G LTE phone running Windows 10 mobile.

In addition to the new operating system, the 4.7-inch handset comes bundled with Office, OneDrive cloud storage, Outlook Mail and Calendar as well as the Cortana digital assistant.

Yesterday, Microsoft also announced it will open-source the core components of its Chakra, including all the key components of the JavaScript engine powering Microsoft Edge, under the brand name ChakraCore.

Microsoft describes ChakraCore as a fully fledged, self-contained JavaScript virtual machine that can be embedded in derivative products and power applications that need a Java scripting language.

According to a blog post written by Adalberto Foresti and Gaurav Seth, both managers on the Microsoft Edge browser team, the company expects to open the ChakraCore repository on GitHub next month.

Samsung's next flagship smartphone could be equipped with a liquid cooling system designed to lower the operating temperatures of the handsets to increase performance.

This is the latest rumor swirling about what will likely be Samsung's Galaxy S7 flagship smartphone models, which are expected to be announced just before the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, in late February.

According to a report from Chinese Website UDN, Samsung is reportedly seeking a component supplier to provide heat pipes, which wick away heat from other components to cool them.

Market research firm IDC, expects worldwide PC shipments to fall 10 percent in the fourth quarter. Analysts said the struggles in the PC market will continue into next year, due in large part to issues such as a strong U.S. dollar, low commodity prices and hefty inventories of current systems.

However, as consumers and business users continue to adopt Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system, the market could stabilize by the end of 2016 and grow slightly as businesses begin replacing their PCs.

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