Microsoft (silently) launches "Live Translator"

Reading TechCrunch tonight and a post popped up indicating Microsoft has a Free Machine Translation site up now called Windows Live Translator BETA.

My initial reaction, just like Mike’s @ TC, was “YAWN”….. After all Babel Fish has been around, well roughly forever as far as the web is concerned and to top it off Microsoft’s also bears the “Powered by SYSTRAN” badge.

I initially wrote it off as a “whatever” but just for kicks ran our site through it to see if the engine came back with anything different form Babel Fish or Google’s tools (it didn’t) – at least not on the language front. Interface wise though, Microsoft just upped the ante.

Microsoft has four view choices when you get your translation results:

Side-by-Side

live_trans1

Note the highlight on the corresponding chunks of text! There’s also a Top/Bottom view which is identical to this.

Source w/Translation Hover

live_trans2

Hover over a sentence and a block will appear with the translation.

Target w/Source Hover:

live_trans3

Like above but with the source appearing in the hover box.

Certainly nothing earth shattering here but I’d definitely say hands-down this is one of the best free machine translation interfaces on the web right now.

Source: TechCrunch

Mr. Crow goes to Microsoft

No, that’s not the title of an upcoming children’s book – David Crow, TorCamp‘s resident instigator and founding father, announced over the weekend that he’ll be joing Microsoft Canada as of the beginning of June as a “Senior User Experience Advisor”.

To some it’s probably a surprising move but I think it makes a lot of sense – and it’s good to see that Microsoft is interested in folks who aren’t just going to toe the line. David’s a take no shit kind of guy and I like knowing he’ll be calling it like it is with the boys (and girls) at MS.

His title may say “Advisor” but as with anything Crow sinks his teeth into I’m guessing the better word will be “Advocate” – which is good for all of us.

Congrats and Good Luck Dave!

(As an aside “Mr. Crow goes to Microsoft” would probably be a great little Graphic Novel)