In­ter­net ri­vals vie to track Santa Claus

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: The com­pe­ti­tion be­tween Mi­crosoft and Google is stretch­ing to the North Pole as the in­ter­net search ri­vals vie to be top Santa tracker this Christ­mas.

Google on Wed­nes­day launched a google. com/ san­ta­tracker web­site of­fer­ing rein­deer games, elf an­tics and up­dates on beloved gift-giver Kris Kringle as chil­dren world­wide count down to Christ­mas eve.

“A team of Google engi­neers are work­ing hard to track Santa’s sleigh with the most ad­vanced maps and hol­i­day tech­nol­ogy avail­able,” self­ti­tled Elf Cre­ative Di­rec­tor Sandy Rus­sell said in a blog post.

Mean­while, Mi­crosoft teamed with North Amer­i­can Aero­space De­fence (Norad) to cre­ate a Santa Tracker pow­ered by the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s global radar sys­tem and tech­nol­ogy such as Bing Maps and Win­dows soft­ware.

“Since we’re watch­ing the skies any­way, it only makes sense to watch for Ru­dolph as well,” said Norad Tracks Santa project man­ager Marisa Novo­bil­ski.

Norad’s tra­di­tion of Santa track­ing be­gan in 1955, af­ter a US re­tail chain’s news­pa­per ad invit­ing chil­dren to tele­phone Mr. Claus mis­tak­enly listed a phone num­ber re­served for emer­gency US air de­fence sit­u­a­tions.

A colonel on duty played along for the sake of chil­dren call­ers.

This is the first time Norad has teamed with Mi­crosoft, which is help­ing power a no­rad­santa. org web­site fea­tur­ing games, video and more.

“Once upon a time, chil­dren would have to take their par­ents’ word that Santa was on his way (but will only stop at their house if they go to sleep),” Mi­crosoft said.

Now chil­dren can de­ter­mine Santa Claus’s ap­prox­i­mate global po­si­tion. – Sapa-AFP

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