Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant in Windows 10 now includes the company's translation technology found in Skype Translator.
The firm said on the Microsoft Translator blog that the translation capabilities for Cortana are now available in the US and Chinese versions of Windows 10.
Microsoft explained that tapping into Microsoft Translator allows Cortana to translate words, phrases and sentences in English and Chinese into one of nearly 40 supported languages.
These include German, French, Welsh, Swedish, Thai, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Hindi, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Farsi.
"There are a couple of different ways to use Cortana's translation capabilities. First, you can simply say ‘Hey Cortana' followed by the word or phrase you want translated. For instance: ‘Hey Cortana, translate where is the nearest taxi stand in French?' [or] ‘Hey Cortana, how to say where is the closest grocery store in Spanish?'," said Microsoft.
If Cortana misunderstands or cannot instantly work out a translation, the assistant will open a web browser and perform a search for the answer.
Translation can also be carried out by typing requests directly into the taskbar in Windows 10, but Microsoft said that this takes the "fun" out of using a virtual assistant.
Microsoft Translator has already been used to power a suite of apps, including Translator for Apple Watch, Translator for Android Wear and Translator apps for Widows Phone, Bing Search and Apple's Safari browser.
The technology is available in Microsoft Office and Word Online to translate documents and productivity tools, and is being provided in widget form allowing the translation capabilities to be added to a website or blog.
Microsoft is clearly keen to get its translation technology into a wide range of applications and devices, particularly given the move to make Skype Translator available to a wider audience.
However, the company could face challenges from the Google Translate service that also offers real-time translation.
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