Tag: Skype

Free Skype group video calls have now rolled out

This service is being offered for free in order to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the company’s video calls.

Microsoft has now announced that in celebration of the tenth anniversary of its video calling service, it is now offering free Skype group video calls to anyone using mobile devices based on the Windows 10 Mobile platform as well as those from Android, iPhone and iPad.

The company has released an announcement about this free service through a statement from Gurdeep Pall.

Pall, the corporate vice president for the Information Platform & Experience team from Microsoft recently made a blog post about the free Skype offering, saying “To celebrate 10 years of video calling, get ready to welcome group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 Mobile — everywhere, completely free.” Pall added that “We’ll be rolling out this new feature to our hundreds of millions of mobile users in the coming weeks.”

Aside from the free Skype group video calling, the team from the company has been up to a great deal more.

Free Skype CallsFor instance, the Skype team has also been working on the communications app over the last months and have boosted the number of features available to users. For example, the most recent version now makes it possible for users to “leave a message” in video form for other Skype users whose statuses are offline or not available.

It has also been reported that the service is looking to crack through the language barrier so that friends, family and even businesspeople will be able to communicate with each other, regardless of the languages they speak, using Skype Translator. That feature makes it possible for voice and video calls to be translated into any of seven languages, so far. Moreover, when using the instant messenger version of the service, it is possible to take advantage of translation into any of fifty different languages.

While the Skype Translator feature is still in its preview mode, it has been launched on that level and it is heavily reliant on machine learning. This means that it becomes more accurate the more an individual uses it as it learns that individual’s unique way of speaking. The recommendation when using that service is that headphones be used and that users speak as clearly as they can to ensure the most accurate translations possible. When using the Translator with the free Skype service, a user needs Windows 7 or higher.

Technology news made with Skype Translator

Skype and Microsoft Research collaboration has resulted in major technological advancement in telecommunication.

Microsoft has recently made technology news by revealing a new translation service for the freemium VoIP (voice over IP) and messaging app Skype, which has the ability to identify spoken words and translate these words into a different language and, in almost real-time, speak back the translation.

After 15 years of research Microsoft intends to launch the new service by the end of the year.

Presently, Skype has an estimated 300 million monthly users who utilize its service via smartphones, tablets, computers and television. At the end of 2014, Skype Translator will be available for Windows 8. However, Microsoft also has the intention to make it available to other operating platforms in the future.

Skype’s corporate vice president, Gurdeep Singh Pall, said “Skype has always been about breaking down barriers. And the language barrier is huge. It has been a blocker to productivity and human connection.” He went on to say that “Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier. It’s going to make sure you can communicate with anyone without language barriers.”

The technology was demonstrated by Pall in California at the Code conference. He held a three minute conversation with one of his German colleagues via a Skype video call. Pall spoke in English and his words were translated into German while his colleague spoke in German and Pall and the audience heard the German to English translation in almost real-time.

There were a few mistakes during the conversation, but these were extremely minor compared to those that occurred when the service was first demonstrated two years ago, translating English to Chinese. This shows the technological improvements that have been made in such a short time.

Microsoft’s technology news could preserve Skype’s competitive edge.

Skype was acquired by Microsoft back in 2011 for $85 billion. Globally, Skype continues to be the most used video and voice chat. However, it has a lot of competition from other popular messaging services like WhatsApp, FaceTime and Hangouts. The translation feature could be what allows Skype to keep a leg up over its competitors.

It is likely that there will be more Skype-related technology news in the future as more advancement are made and because Microsoft has yet to announce if the new translator service will be free or not.