Microsoft to add real-time translation to Windows' Skype desktop app by summer's end

Will corral Windows 7 users into testing technology

Microsoft today said that it would add its real-time translation technology to the primary Windows desktop app, giving users of Windows 7 and older editions the chance to test the service.

"We are targeting the end of summer 2015 for the roll-out to begin," said Yasmin Khan of Skype's marketing team in a Monday blog post.

Last month, Microsoft expanded the beta of Skype Translator to all users running Windows 8.1 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but required them to download a separate app.

Microsoft has yet to peg a date when it will move Skype Translator out of preview.

Currently, the Skype Translator app handles four spoken languages -- English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin -- and 50 written languages via Skype's instant message chat function. Microsoft has set a goal of doing real-time translations of nearly three dozen spoken languages, but won't add them until they "meet our quality standard," Khan said.

The Skype Translator app for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 can still be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

Skype's Windows desktop application runs on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Khan did not say whether the translation technology will be available to users of all of those editions.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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