Microsoft to integrate Skype Translator functionality into its Skype desktop apps

Microsoft is folding its Skype Translator real-time translation technology into the desktop versions of its Skype apps for PCs, starting with the Windows 8.1 version.

Starting in late summer 2015, Microsoft will be integrating the preview of its Skype Translator real-time translation service into the desktop versions of its Skype application on Windows PCs.

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Microsoft will first debut the integrated Skype Translator functionality in the version of Skype that runs on Windows 8.1 PCs, as Microsoft detailed in a June 8 blog post.

Microsoft also plans to integrate Skype Translator preview into the desktop version of Skype that runs on Windows 7 "and above," according to a spokesperson responding to my question on this.

Microsoft won't yet say whether the company also is intending to fold Skype Translator preview into the "modern"/Windows Store version of Skype for Windows 8 and above, the spokesperson said. Currently, Microsoft requires Windows 8.1 users who want to test Skype Translator to download a separate Skype Translator preview app.

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Microsoft opened phase one of its Skype Translator preview program to select testers in December 2014. At that time, company officials called Skype Translator "a brand new feature from Skype." The service displays an on-screen transcript of an audio/video Skype call and translates instant-messages in 50 languages.Microsoft kicked off the second phase of its Skype Translator preview in April, adding support for Chinese (Mandarin) and Italian, along with English and Spanish.

Microsoft broadened the Skype Translator preview to include Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 testers in May, enabling users to download a separate Skype Translator preview app on their devices from the Windows Store.

Microsoft officials said in January that the company is planning to bundle a Skype app with Windows 10, and that a preview would be available in "the next few months." Microsoft still has not provided any specifics beyond the original announcement about this new Skype app, and the aforementioned spokesperson said today the company still has no updates to share on this front.

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