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