Skype for Business was announced last month, and following the launch streak, Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled Skype Translator Preview application for the masses. Interestingly, the app was earlier available in a closed preview form since its official announcement that was made last year in December.
The Skype Translator Preview is now directly downloadable from the Windows Store, but it requires Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 preview operating system on PC or tablets in order to run the app, as stated by Skype in their blog post. Although Microsoft has has not revealed any information regarding the app’s availability on Windows Phones.
It presently has support for four spoken languages - Spanish, English, Italian and Mandarin, however, for Instant Messaging the app supports up to 50 languages. Skype Translator Preview translates users’ one-on-one voice or video chats in the real-time, which means that it translates as they speak, in both directions. There are also options such as, to only hear or view the transcript.
Now that the preview has been made available to the general users, Microsoft is expecting more feedback. The company gave a demo about the ‘breakthrough technology’ around a year ago at the Code Conference technology gathering in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Moreover, Microsoft is reportedly planning to announce a country-specific Skype application in India. To explain the app’s working, Skype spokesperson, Filipp Seljanko, said, “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,” he said.
Skype decided to enhance its app performance after the market research showed rival apps like Viber providing better services to smartphone users in India. While listing the better features of the app, 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," he said.