If you didn’t know, Microsoft bought Skype around three years ago, for a breathtaking sum of $8.5 billion. From our point of view, (as regular Skype users) nothing changed much, except the fact that Skype became mind-blowing popular especially in the business environment.
If you take into account the fact that Skype counts 300 million users per month, you realize that Microsoft proved to be a genius to purchase the company. But even if we didn’t see spectacular changes taking place with Skype, this doesn’t mean the two companies didn’t work together to revolutionize the world.
Let’s see together what made Mr. Takei and all tech journalists clap their hands last week:
Microsoft isn’t just pushing Skype as the text, voice, and video communication service to use, it has set its sights on emulating Star Trek. Yesterday at the Code Conference in California, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Skype corporate vice president Gurdeep Pall, introduced Skype Translator. It’s the first time that this new feature has been demonstrated publicly, and involved a Skype conversation between Pall speaking English in California and Diana Heinrichs speaking German in London.
In other words, the Skype Translator aims to break down the language barriers of the world, by translating in real time the conversation between to people, for each of them in their own language. For now, the translation skills are not spectacular, but pretty good to make two people get on the same page really fast. This is a major step for Skype as it tries to ease and support communication among people all over the world. It is definitely good for all companies and business out there, and it will be a good business for both Microsoft and Skype.
For business users especially, it’s going to make Skype look very desirable for those international calls and video meetings, and eventually much cheaper than actually hiring a translator.
The Star Trek reference is obvious, we hope. On a secondary note, we cannot but to reiterate our respect for Microsoft’s CEO, who is not only a visionary, but a man who is not afraid to work hard to accomplish the goal of giving back Microsoft its former glory.
Nobody knows yet many details about the Skype Translator regarding the number of languages it will support eventually, nor about an official availability date. We will just have to wait and see.