After rolling out Skype for Business last month, Microsoft on Tuesday made its Skype Translator Preview app available for general users. Notably, the app was available in closed preview since its official introduction in December last year.
Users can now download Skype Translator Preview directly from the Windows Store but would need Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 preview on their PC or tablets to run the app, as per the blog post. Microsoft has not yet mentioned the app’s availability for Windows Phones.
The Skype Translator Preview currently supports four spoken languages – Spanish, English, Italian and Mandarin, while under Instant Messaging the app supports 50 languages. The app translates the users’ one-on-one voice or video chats as and when they speak, in both directions. Option to only hear or only view the transcript is also present.
Microsoft is expecting more feedback from users now that it has been made available to all. The firm demonstrated the ‘breakthrough technology’ publically almost a year ago at the Code Conference technology gathering in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
In the meanwhile, the Redmond-based firm is reportedly planning to launch a country-specific Skype app in India. As mentioned by Skype spokesperson, Filipp Seljanko, the app is aimed at offering video and voice over Internet protocol services that are optimised for India’s mobile networks – specifically, to offer a better experience over 2G and 3G networks.
The Microsoft-owned company decided to develop the app after market research showed it that competitors like Viber were managing to provide better services for mobile users in the country. Explaining how the app would be better, Seljanko said, “India’s 2G and 3G network[s], as well as the mix of phones in use, pose very specific challenges for us. The new application will be much lighter than the one now available, and will require far less computation resources and memory.”