Microsoft is now accepting sign-ups for a preview version of Skype Translator, a real-time language translation service.
In a blog post on the matter, Microsoft’s Yasmin Kahn said they’ve seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm for Skype Translator from people around the globe. The preview program will have limited spots, Kahn noted, meaning interested parties need to sign up to secure their virtual spot in line ASAP.
The preview program will be free of charge and limited to those with Windows 8.1 computers and tablets. It’ll start with a limited selection of languages which unfortunately, weren’t disclosed. Instead, Microsoft will asks potential participants which languages are important to them during sign-up and likely narrow the field down from there.
The Redmond-based company first unveiled Skype Translator this past May at Re/code’s inaugural Code Conference. CEO Satya Nadella even demonstrated the software’s abilities with the help of Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice Preside of Skype and Lync, who was speaking German.
Shortly after the demo, Pall revealed they’ve been working on the technology for more than a decade. It’s still early days, but the Star Trek vision of a universal translator isn’t a galaxy away, he added.
Skype is an immensely popular communications tool that connects over 300 million users each month. Collectively, these people chat for more than 2 billion minutes each month. By eliminating the language barrier, Skype has the potential to greatly bolster its usage statistics.