Skype Translator Preview, the beta app that lets people of different languages communicate by messaging or speaking, will soon not feel so lonely.
Skype Translator will ship with the Skype desktop app for Windows by the end of the summer, Microsoft announced in a blog post on Monday. The company hasn’t said when, or even if, the feature will be added to other desktop clients in the future.
Skype did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Skype Translator Preview launched last year as a standalone download available exclusively on Windows 8.1 computers and tablets. Skype said at the time that its goal was to get people to use it for themselves, and if all went well it would make its way into enterprise communications apps in the future.
This feature allows users of different languages to chat, either by speaking or by instant messaging, and have their conversations automatically translated.currently supports English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. So if someone in Italy and the US decides to chat, one could speak in Italian and the other in English, and Skype Translator would automatically translate the conversation into their respective native languages. For instant messaging, 50 languages are supported.
Skype took a slow route to integrating Translator into its desktop app, initially offering it as a program that. In May, Microsoft-owned Skype dropped the sign-up requirement and has since seen a 300% increase in Translator usage. The company did not specify how many users actually tried the service.
Still, the future success of Skype Translator requires more users. According to Skype, the service uses machine learning technology to interpret what is being said and translate it. As more text and audio is pumped into the system, it learns more words and can then more accurately interpret conversations. So the more people use Skype Translator, the more useful it will be. Bundling the functionality into the popular desktop client should help.