Tech Industry

Skype will soon have real-time translation built in for Windows desktops

Microsoft is starting with the desktop version of Skype for Windows 7, 8 and 10 PCs.

To date, Skype Translator has been a standalone app. But Microsoft is starting to integrate its Skype Translator technology directly into Skype.

Microsoft is making good on its promise from earlier this year to broaden availability of its Skype real-time translation technology by integrating Skype Translator directly into the desktop version of Skype on Windows PCs.

To date, Skype Translator has been a standalone app. The first users to get Skype Translator as part of Skype will be those running Skype desktop on Windows 7, 8 or 10. The rollout will happen over the next few weeks, Microsoft officials said on October 1.

Once the translation capability is added, users will see new real-time translation icons for audio and video calls, as well as instant-message (IM) conversations. Languages supported for audio and video calls at launch will be English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. Fifty languages will be supported for IM translation.

Microsoft opened phase one of its Skype Translator preview program to select testers in December 2014. At that time, company officials called Skype Translator "a brand new feature from Skype." The service displays an on-screen transcript of an audio/video Skype call and translates instant-messages on the fly.

Microsoft officials began the rollout of the integration of Translator into Skype starting with Skype desktop for Windows 8.1. In June, Microsoft officials said the company would be folding Skype Translator functionality into Skype desktop apps for Windows 7 and above starting in late summer 2015.

There's no official word (so far) as to when and if Microsoft will integrate Skype Translator into Skype on other platforms -- Windows 10 Mobile and/or other non-Microsoft ones.

This story originally posted as "Skype Translator works its way into Windows PCs" on ZDNet.