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Microsoft seeks testers for Skype Translator preview

Microsoft is taking signups for its real-time video translation service, which will be available in limited preview form before the end of the year.

Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network.
Mary Jo Foley


Back in May, Microsoft execs took the wraps off the company's coming Skype Translator, due to hit preview for Windows 8.1 users before the end of this calendar year.

On Monday, Microsoft began soliciting applicants for that limited preview program.

Microsoft is describing Skype Translator as a "brand new feature from Skype." Microsoft officials have been demonstrating real-time language translation for at least two years. In 2012, Microsoft made available a "Skype Translate" product that provided text (but not video) translation. The coming Skype Translator will provide two-way translated communication using Skype and video.

Skype Translator will translate selected languages in real time between the participating parties. It will display an on-screen transcript of the call and provide translated Skype instant message chats in 45 languages.

The initial preview will be available in "a few" unspecified languages only at first. It will be expanded to more languages and more operating systems and device types at some point in the future.

The sign-up page for the Skype Translator preview is here.

This story was first published as "Microsoft starts taking sign ups for its Skype Translator preview" on ZDNet.