Chrome has built-in translation capabilities, but as the majority of people on browsing the Internet do not use Google’s browser, translation of websites for many can be a somewhat laborious process.
Microsoft has developed a solution to alleviate that problem, and it’s called the Microsoft Translator bookmarklet. I tested the tool in Internet Explorer 9, what you could call its home turf, and found it to be functional enough. I would put it roughly on par with what Chrome offers in terms of producing readable translations. It also works with Safari and Firefox, of course.
Over 30 languages are supported by the tool. According to CNet, this is a move by Microsoft to give “Google a run for its money.” That sounds like a bit much, honestly. Frankly this seems like a normal tool for Microsoft to release, given its work in translation being extant. I would say that the tool, though, is quite limited by its need to be installed by the end-user. Why not mimic what Google has done with Chrome, and bake it in?
I doubt that Microsoft would be subjected to any sort of antitrust complaints for baking translation into Internet Explorer, as the brand continues to shed market share and now commands less than 50% of the global browser pie. As it stands, the Translator bookmark will impact few lives as it is ensconced in a backwater Microsoft website.