Way back in 2014, Microsoft revealed its work to bring a real Star Trek-type communicator device to the masses. Integrated into its Skype software, the translator would eventually be able to facilitate conversations between dissimilar languages for people strewn across the globe. Work is still being done, but yesterday Microsoft added Mandarin Chinese and Italian languages to the mix, after supporting only Spanish and English for the past couple years.
A new preview has been released to the Windows Store for Windows 8.1 users. In addition to the new language support, here's what else you can expect in the preview:
Text to speech translation
Automatic volume control
Mute option for translated voice
Deep Neural Networks in translation
Grab it here in the Windows Store: Skype Translator preview
Next week (April 14), Microsoft will begin the roll out of updates that will transform its Lync product into Skype for Business. Skype for Business is the future for the company's communications medium. The Lync brand will go away and Skype for Business will be what's left. For business, the translator tool will be of huge benefit, allowing companies to work globally in ways they couldn't before.