Microsoft has just made the preview of Skype Translator available to all and sundry, removing the previous requirement to sign up (and wait for a response) to test the service.
Now all you have to do is simply head to the Windows Store (on Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 preview) and download the program, and you can get going with it immediately.
Skype Translator offers real-time translation to help you speak to folks in other countries, and while it began as English to Spanish only, it now supports four languages – English and Spanish still, of course, plus Italian and Mandarin.
There’s more support if you’re instant messaging, mind, with 50 languages being catered for in that case.
In a blog post, Microsoft said: “Skype Translator is transforming communications one conversation at a time – it’s potential in breaking down barriers is only limited by our own imaginations! Our goal for Skype Translator is to translate as many languages as possible on relevant platforms, and to deliver the best speech translation experience to our more than 300 million connected Skype customers.”
Redmond also underlined the need for feedback from preview users – a policy it is following with gusto when it comes to the development of Windows 10. The clear message that keeps being hammered home is a simple one: Microsoft is now listening to its customers. (And it only took Windows 8 being a flop to bring this about).
Google also recently expanded its Google Translate service to be able to deal with spoken language, though it only translates the audio into text, as opposed to a spoken translation.