Voice and video conference platform Skype has benefitted from two recent upgrades that makes it more useful to the mobile workforce. The first further integrates Skype into Office Online and the second adds Modern Standard Arabic to Skype Translator. Both offer powerful options for those who use Skype for business.

At first, we didn’t know which direction Skype would go once it was bought by Microsoft. However, for once it seems the Redmond giant is leaving well alone and focusing its attention on improvements rather than monetisation and market domination. Good news for all of us who use it!

These new upgrades come on the back of news that Skype integration into Outlook.com is complete. So not content on resting on their laurels the work at Skype continues.

Skype and Office Online

The two platforms move close together with this new update. Once downloaded, you will be able to use Skype to call colleagues from within Office Online or OneDrive. The idea is to help collaboration within the platform itself or even within documents.

Multiple users will be able to create, edit and review documents online at the same time while on a conference call. For larger or more dispersed organisations this could be a real time saver. Rather than emailing revisions back and forth, it would allow live collaboration for much faster results.

Users will also be able to discuss files and folders within OneDrive should they ever want to. This might be of more use to IT admins than users, but it could prove useful.

Skype Translator

Businesses who need to translate their work into another language now have another to choose from. Modern Standard Arabic joins English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese as an available spoken language within the app.

Skype Translator is one of the better translation apps and certainly one of the more accurate. It has an added advantage in the audio side of things, while it does type out the words as it’s working so you can see what it’s doing.

Apparently, Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world. With lots of news and opportunities becoming available in parts of the Arab-speaking world, it’s a useful tool for any international business. We haven’t tried the Arabic version but it is apparently quite accurate. Certainly accurate enough to be able to have a meaningful conversation anyway.

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