Microsoft and Google Optimize Santa Tracker Websites for Mobile

In an annual holiday tradition, Microsoft teamed up with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to create its Santa Tracker website.

Built as part of Internet Explorer’s Rethink campaign, the site will allow users to follow Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world on Christmas Eve. In addition to Bing Maps’ interactive 3-D globe, which is optimized for touch, the website features movies, music, information about Santa, and holiday traditions from around the world. It also features games, one of which is unlocked each day like an Advent calendar.


The tradition goes back 60 years, and for the first time, Santa Tracker is optimized for mobile, allowing Windows Phone users to track St. Nick’s whereabouts with Cortana. Like the omniscient virtual assistant, OnStar operators will be getting information from NORAD’s advanced systems to best answer the question, “Where is Santa right now?”

Google has a Santa tracker of its own, also with new activities every day until December 24. Some are games, some are elaborate Google Doodles, and some are learning activities. Like Microsoft’s site, Google’s Santa Tracker features an interactive world map, where users can learn about different traditions from around the world, such as the Kyrgyz custom of lighting fireworks at midnight on New Year’s Eve, when Grandfather Frost leaves children presents, or the four-month holiday season that’s customary in the Philippines.

Though Siri won’t know where in the world Santa is, Android users can download an app and follow him on Google Maps.

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