Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Microsoft scores win with Santa tracking

14 December 2012, 13:19

Washington - In the battle for Christmas, Microsoft has scored a win over Google as the official maps partner for Santa and his reindeer.

Microsoft announced this week it had sealed a partnership with the Pentagon's North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad), which monitors the skies over Canada and the US, for the holiday season.

"For more than 50 years, Norad has helped children around the world track Santa during his Christmas journey, and this year Microsoft is partnering with Norad to make following the big red sleigh easier than ever," Microsoft said in a blog.

"The Santa Tracker tool is built on the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing platform and Bing Maps, and anxious kids can even track Kris Kringle on Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps."

The news marked a coup for Microsoft, whose Bing search engine is struggling to catch the Google juggernaut. Google had been the Norad tracking partner since 2007.

Android app

"It's a pretty big win for Microsoft and should give its products greater exposure, though I'm kind of sad that Norad Tracks Santa is now developing into a service that corporations are clearly fighting over to sponsor," said Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, a blog which follows the firms.

"But I love the service, and if it helps support it, cool."

Norad's Santa tracking tradition dates back to 1955, when a Colorado newspaper advertisement printed a phone number to connect children with the jolly man in the red suit, but that mistakenly directed them to Norad's hotline.

To avoid disappointing the little ones, Norad's director of operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, ordered his staff to check the radar to see where Santa might be and update the children on his location.

Google is not completely shut out for Christmas, however. It has an Android app on its Google Play store which allows mobile users to follow Santa.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...