Microsoft's latest machine-learning poster child: Translator Hub

Microsoft's latest machine-learning poster child: Translator Hub

Summary: Microsoft's Translator Hub , based on the Research unit's Azure-based Translator service, is now commercially available.


In April, I blogged about Microsoft execs' latest favorite buzzword: Machine learning.

This week, the Softies -- specifically, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner -- mentioned machine learning again. This time it was in the context of the top eight tech trends he and other Microsoft execs see driving the industry and Microsoft. (The other seven: Cloud, explosion of data, social computing, natural user interfaces, mobility/connectivity, and the consumerization of IT.)

The specific technology highlighted this week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference as an example of machine learning technology is the Microsoft Translator Hub. The Translator Hub is commercially available, as of this week.


The Hub is one of several different Microsoft products and services based on the Microsoft Translator technology from Microsoft Research. There's a Translator application programming interface for developers that is available via the Windows Azure Marketplace. There's a Translator app for Windows Phone. There's Bing Translator. There's a Translator widget. And there's the Translator Hub.

The Hub allows for customized automatic translation between any two languages. It is built around a self-service model, meaning users can train and customize it for their particular needs. The Hub is actually a Windows Azure cloud service that allows users to upload language data and build and dploy custom translation models. These are then accessible using the Microsoft Translator APIs or widgets.

Inside Microsoft, this translation technology is used by the Internet Explorer, Lync and Windows Phone teams. It also is used by businesses including Facebook, Trip Advisor and Twitter, according to Microsoft.

What's the partner angle? "Developers and partners are incorporating Microsoft Translator’s application programming interface (API) to build even more translation tools and services," according to the company.

Topics: Emerging Tech, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I see a lot of potential use for Translator Hub

    A Hub could be used to translate books, documents, and the services like Lync etc. like you mentioned. Bing Translator service could be used to translate a web page, search result etc., whilde widget is doing the same, it could be used to do a part of the page, document etc. And WP app is limited to that device only. I hope Microsoft would integrate all of these services or spawn these from Hub definitely in future, if not today.
    Ram U
  • Christopher M. Bishop

    One of the most famous people in Machine learning field is "Christopher M. Bishop" which has been working at Microsoft perhaps for more than a decade.

    He has published two very important books in the field: "Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning" and "Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition".

    I am not shocked even a bit that Microsoft is offering machine learning related products. I was more shocked that why they don't.