Almost a year ago, Microsoft demoed one of the best features it could have ever invented for its video chat and messaging application at Re/code’s Code Conference, and the company is finally ready to make Skype Translator available to anyone interested in trying it. Last December, the company released a preview version of it, but only to users patient enough to sign up for access and wait to be allowed in.
Skype Translator offers real-time translation of spoken languages, though only English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin are supported for the time being. Still, this is a major achievement, as the software can enable conversations between individuals who don’t speak a common language.
In the future, Microsoft plans to add real-time translation support for more languages. Additionally, Skype Translator works with instant messages too, and it supports 50 written languages.
Microsoft warns on its website that the app is still available only as a preview, meaning that users can expect certain inconsistencies as they try the app.
“Skype Translator is a brand-new experience from Skype, and it’s still learning and improving the way it translates calls,” the company says. “As a preview user of Skype Translator you’ll be instrumental in helping us refine the technology and bring us closer to our goal of overcoming language barriers worldwide. Even the smallest conversations help Skype Translator learn and grow, which can enrich your communication and lead to amazing things.”
The Skype Translation preview version can be downloaded right away by following this link – though you will need to have at least Windows 8.1 running on your computer (Windows 10 Technical Preview is also supported).