Internet rivals vie to track Santa Claus
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