Microsoft first released Skype Translator almost a year ago as a standalone app designed for Windows 8. The software giant is now integrating its impressive translation feature directly into the desktop version of Skype, opening it up to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 users. Six voice languages will be supported at launch, including English, French, German, Italian, Madarin, and Spanish. Skype will now let you hold a conversation in any of them, without ever needing to learn a language.
"It has been a long-time dream at Skype to break down language barriers and bring everyone across the globe closer together," explains Microsoft's Skype team. "Researchers, engineers, and many others across Microsoft have been working hard to make this dream a reality and we are looking forward to bringing this preview technology to more devices."
Microsoft will roll out an update to the Skype for Windows desktop app over the next few weeks, and a new translator button will show up within conversations. You can enable translation for audio and video calls, but if you just want to translate instant messages then 50 languages in total will be supported.
We first used the software back in December during an early preview, and while there were a few translation issues, it works well enough to hold a conversation in a language you do not understand. Early adopters have been providing regular feedback to Microsoft, and the company clearly feels it's time to open up its Skype Translator to everyone using the Windows desktop app. There's no word on Mac or iOS / Android support yet, but given Microsoft's continued cross-platform focus, it's likely we'll see that at some point in the future.