Microsoft reveals Skype Translator; Windows 8 beta coming late 2014

Microsoft already has Bing Translator to help users translate words into other languages but late on Tuesday the company revealed plans to expand those efforts to include its popular Skype client. The project is simply called Skype Translator, and it was introduced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as part of his presentation at the Code Conference.

Nadella was joined by Gurdeep Pall, leader of Microsoft's Skype and Lync team, on the stage during the presentation. Pall used Skype Translator to speak in English to a German-speaking friend on the other side of the video chat. Pall's voice was nearly instantly translated into German, and his friend's words were also turned into English via the Skype Translator machine voice. Microsoft first showed off this "Star Trek" universal translator technology back in 2012 as part of its many Microsoft Research projects.

In a blog post, Pall stated:

Skype Translator is a great example of why Microsoft invests in basic research. We’ve invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they’re emerging as important components in this more personal computing era.

The first public release of Skype Translator will come sometime in late 2014 with a Windows 8 app beta test. Nadella indicated that eventually it will be release for all of the platforms already used by Skype. When asked when it will be possible to simply call someone in Egypt and have an easy translated conversation with them, Nadella indicated it will happen sometime in the next two years.

Source: Microsoft

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17 Comments

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ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!! Those instant translations will be so useful with communications especially with my family who I can't speak to currently because of language barriers.

P.S. I agree with the comment above on those 2 hosts... they were totally arrogant and stuck up and rude. They need public speaking lessons.

This will be amazing if it ends up working as intended in the real world.

Keep up the innovations (especially free ones) :)

Amazing :-D If this gets perfected, it would also be nice to implement it into TV's to generate subtitles on the fly :-D

Walt and Kara were very rude to Satya as far as I see from the video above. Like "it'll be magic until they take over the world and kill us BUT GO AHEAD (shakes hand in rude gesture)" or "little scary, little scary Satya" or "does it have a name by the way... do you have a name for it?" or interrupting and rudely, "do YOU speak German?"

Oh well maybe it's just me.

They were referring to Terminator, or so I thought.

I think you are used to pre-scripted jokes where the guest always knows how to respond "in a funny way".

I couldn't believe how absolutely arrogant and stuck up they were. Even that German comment at the end. They need to be fired or learn how to public speak. You can tell Satya was a bit uncomfortable with them, but he played it really cool.

ians18 said,
Walt and Kara were very rude to Satya as far as I see from the video above. Like "it'll be magic until they take over the world and kill us BUT GO AHEAD (shakes hand in rude gesture)" or "little scary, little scary Satya" or "does it have a name by the way... do you have a name for it?" or interrupting and rudely, "do YOU speak German?"

Oh well maybe it's just me.

It's not just you. These two are both douchebags and Apple shills; had this been a demo from Apple, they would've said it's the best thing ever. Look up and compare any clip where they interview Apple people vs Microsoft people.

I was more worried by her mouth! Looks like she's about to eat someone!

Man, that was so forced on her part.. .She's made it pretty apparent the whole thing was pre-scripted...

Well it is an impressive technique...Even though the English->German translation was way more scrambled than the other way around.

What I didn't understand: How will you be able to teach it?