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Skype for Windows app will get Translator preview built right in

Launched last year as a standalone download, the Translator feature will roll out to Windows desktop users by the end of summer, says Microsoft.

Translator is finally coming to Skype's Windows desktop app to boost usage. Skype

Skype Translator Preview, the beta app that enables people of different languages to communicate via messaging or speaking, soon won't feel so lonely.

Skype Translator will be bundled with the Skype for Windows desktop app by the end of summer, Microsoft announced in a blog post on Monday. The company didn't say when, or even if, the feature would 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 on its own, and if all went well, it would make its way to the company's communication apps in the future.

The feature enables users of different languages to chat, whether by speaking or instant messaging with each other, and have their conversations automatically translated. Spoken-language translations currently support English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. So, if a person in Italy and the US decide 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 bringing Translator to its desktop app, first offering it as a program that required users to sign up. In May, the Microsoft-owned Skype ditched the sign-up requirement and has since seen a 300 percent increase in Translator usage. The company did not say how many users have actually tried out the service.

Still, the future success of Skype Translator requires more users. According to Skype, the service uses machine learning technology to interpret what's being said and translate it. As more text and audio is pumped through 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 feature into the popular desktop client should help.