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Skype Translator previews for real-time chats

New service for real-time language translation initially available on Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets

Microsoft officials have been working to deliver real-time language translation for at least two years.
Microsoft officials have been working to deliver real-time language translation for at least two years.

Microsoft has released its first public preview of Skype's instant translation service, which will translate instant-message chats in more than 45 languages.

Initially available on Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets and only in Spanish and English, the Skype Translator will display an on-screen transcript of the call. Microsoft is expected to make the service available across a wide variety of devices and operating systems over time.

Company executives announced the Skype Translator in May 2014, noting that a public preview would be available this year. The company began taking sign-ups for the preview in November.

Microsoft officials have been working to deliver real-time language translation for at least two years.