|Santa Tracking Goes High Tech With New NORAD Site|
|By JOANNA STERN (@joannastern)||Dec 2, 2013, 10:28 PM|
Santa's getting some new digital digs.
In 1955, after a Sears ad mistakenly listed its number as Santa's, the Northern American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) began receiving calls from children asking about the whereabouts of Mr. Claus. Ever since, the agency has continued to provide the status and location of Santa on Dec. 25, and this year, it will do so with the help of Microsoft and a flashy new website.
Visit http://www.noradsanta.org/ today and you will be brought to a brand new site that not only counts down the days until Santa will begin delivering presents but lets you visit the digital North Pole and play various games. Every day, NORAD will release a new game on the site; currently you can help Santa shoot hoops or help light the tree by solving a maze.
On Christmas day, the site will monitor Santa and the reindeers' whereabouts on a map and keep a running tally of the number of gifts delivered.
This year, NORAD had some extra help in building the new Santa tracker command center. Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Bing and Azure teams worked with NORAD to help build the new site. Last year, Microsoft began providing the Bing Maps for tracking Santa, but this year it helped redesign the site to bring it up to modern Web standards. The site is now written in HTML 5 and designed for touchscreens, Microsoft said.
"We are really proud of this rich and immersive experience on the Web today and we have done it across a ton of different devices and Web browsers, not just our own," Roger Capriotti, Senior Marketing Director of Internet Explorer, told ABC News.
NORAD will have apps for iOS, Windows Phone and Android, as well as the newly optimized site, which will work in any browser, though Microsoft says the performance will be best in Internet Explorer, especially on a Windows 8.1 tablet.
But that cross-platform support is what Microsoft and NORAD are hoping will make this site better than whatever Google has up its sleeve. Last year, Google released its own Santa Tracking site to take on NORAD's. Google did not respond to ABC News' request for comment on its plans for tracking Santa this year.
Either way, it's clear Santa and Microsoft have aligned to give children everywhere a high-tech command center for tracking presents across the world on Dec. 25. That might lead some to believe that Santa could be a possible candidate for the Microsoft CEO position, however, Capriotti said he is not privy to that information.
"All I know is what I read in the papers and I haven't seen him mentioned as one of the top candidates," he said.