Google vs. Microsoft: Battle of the Santa Trackers

PHOTO: An image of the Google Santa Tracker was posted to the official Google Blog on Dec. 1, 2014.Google
An image of the Google Santa Tracker was posted to the official Google Blog on Dec. 1, 2014.

Eager boys and girls aren't the only ones around the world counting down until Santa's arrival -- so are Google and Microsoft.

The two tech giants have both launched Santa Trackers.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, which has tracked Santa since 1955, dropped Google Maps in 2012 in favor of teaming up with Microsoft's Bing Maps.

That hasn't deterred Google, which has tracked Mr. Claus on its own ever since, providing an alternative to the NORAD-Microsoft partnership.

Here's a breakdown on what the rival Santa trackers have to offer:

Google

St. Nick hasn't started his journey yet, but when he does, you can use Google Maps to follow him and his reindeer as they travel around the world.

In the meantime, chill out in Santa's Village and try your hand at a new game or project that is unlocked each day as we count down the days until Christmas. Today's game includes dodging iceberg obstacles to launch presents onto a moving boat.

There's also an interactive map explaining fun facts about how the holiday is celebrated around the world.

Android users can get in on the action by downloading the Santa Tracker app to make sure they're up to speed on the jolly old man's whereabouts.

PHOTO: The NORAD Tracks Santa website, seen in a screen grab made on Dec. 3, 2014, displays a countdown until Christmas Eve.www.noradsanta.org
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, seen in a screen grab made on Dec. 3, 2014, displays a countdown until Christmas Eve.

Microsoft

Microsoft teamed up with the pros at NORAD, who have been tracking Santa for six decades to put a high-tech twist on St. Nick's big month.

Inside Santa's village, there are festive tunes, movies about Santa and NORAD, and lessons about how Christmas is celebrated around the world.

Games and interactive experiences, which have also been optimized for mobile devices, make the countdown to Christmas even more fun.

Windows phone users will also be able to ask Cortana, their virtual assistant, another all-important question: "Where is Santa right now?"

When the big day comes, users will be able to track Santa's circumnavigation of the globe on Bing Maps.