Microsoft Add-in Translates PowerPoint Presentations in Real Time

Today’s topics include real-time translations from Microsoft's new PowerPoint add-in; Microsoft’s release of its Window Server Insider preview build; Sprint extending its upgrade programs to all smartphones in its inventory; and a new report that finds enterprises are overconfident about perimeter security.

Microsoft wants to make it easier for multilingual audiences and the hearing impaired to follow along with PowerPoint presentations. To help accomplish that goal, Microsoft Garage, the software giant's experimental app unit, last week released Presentation Translator, an Office add-in for the Windows version of PowerPoint that provides real-time translation services.

The software is powered by Microsoft Translator and the company's Cognitive Services slate, a collection of artificial intelligence-enabled APIs. During a presentation, the software turns spoken content into live subtitles featuring any one of the 60-plus supported text languages, similar to Skype's real-time translation feature.

Ten spoken languages are supported, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Last month, Microsoft announced that Windows Server was moving to a semiannual update schedule, similar to Windows 10 and Office. To test upcoming updates and gather feedback, Microsoft makes early builds of its desktop operating system and productivity software to members of the Windows Insider and Office Insider programs, respectively.

Now, Windows Insider and Windows Insider for Business users can be among the first to see what the next major update to Windows Server has in store, including a trimmer Nano Server installation option.

Windows Server preview build 16237 contains the new, container-only version of the lightweight version of Windows Server. Several features were removed that were in the Nano Server base image in Windows Server 2016. According to software giant, ditching those components helped reduce the size of Nano Server images by more than half.

Sprint is expanding its annual smartphone upgrade programs to now include any smartphone the company markets instead of just Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy handsets.

The new Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals programs, which were unveiled July 14, allow customers to lease and use a smartphone for 12 months and then switch to another device. Or they can keep their device for 18 months and then upgrade.

Customers can also choose to keep their device after 18 months by paying any remaining balance on the phone in one payment or they can extend their lease and pay the balance off in six additional payments.

There is a measurable gap between organizations' perceptions of what keeps them secure and what is actually working to mitigate cyber-security risks, according to a new report from Gemalto.

The Gemalto report surveyed 1,050 IT decision-makers globally and found some surprising results. Among the high-level findings is that 94 percent of IT professionals reported that in their view perimeter security is effective at keeping unauthorized users out of their networks. Yet despite that apparent confidence, 65 percent reported that they are not extremely confident that their data would be protected in the event of a perimeter breach.

"One of the things that continues to show up every year … is the investment and perception of perimeter security versus the reality of its effectiveness," Jason Hart, chief technology officer for data protection at Gemalto, told eWEEK.