Microsoft has taken a stance against Russia following the country’s immoral and illegal invasion of Ukraine. The company ceased all sales in the country and has blocked Russian news sources from Microsoft News. However, the Redmond-based giant is also focusing on helping Ukraine, such as with cybersecurity measures. In the latest effort, Microsoft says specific Skype features are being made available to Ukrainians.
Perhaps the most important free tool exclusive in Ukraine is the ability to make free calls on Skype. Amid a full-scale invasion, millions of people are either displaced or travelling through the country to border nations. It is easy to lose communication with loved ones amid the turmoil, so free calls are something that may help.
Furthermore, Microsoft says the Skype update now supports translation on calls from and to Ukrainian. For a wider audience outside the country, Skype Preview has new emoticons to show support for Ukraine.
Below is the full new Skype changelog:
- “Make free phone calls to Ukraine: on all platforms. Stay connected by calling from/to Ukraine for free. To help further, we support Ukraine through the non-profit organizations listed on the Skype Home Page, and you can as well.
- Support for more languages in Translated Conversations: on all platforms. Translate your Skype and phone calls from/to the Ukrainian language.
- “Support Ukraine” emoticons: on all platforms. (ukraineheart) (ukrainehandshake) (ukrainepray)
- Google Play In-App Billing System: on Android. To purchase Credit, Subscriptions and Skype Numbers.
- Bug fixes and stability improvements”
It is worth noting this update also makes some changes not related to Ukraine. For example, support for the Google Play In-App billion system. This means users can now pay for Skype subscriptions directly within the app. Ironically, this comes just a few days after Google suspended all Play billing in Russia.
Tip of the day: Windows lets you use Cortana to translate sentences, words, or phrases, with the results read back to you automatically. This makes it particularly useful for group scenarios, but you can also type if you’re unsure about pronunciation. Cortana translation sports an impressive 40 languages and utilizes machine learning to provide natural results in many cases. Check our full guide to learn how to use Cortana for quick translations.