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noradsanta1

Maybe Google was naughty again.

noradsanta2For the second straight year, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has picked Microsoft to help track Santa Claus later this month.

The NORAD Santa Tracker has followed Santa on his annual journey around the world for the past 50 years. Google had helped with the tracking via Google Maps and Google Earth every Christmas Eve since 2007, but last year NORAD went with Microsoft and it is doing the same this holiday season.

For 2013, Microsoft has beefed up Noradsanta.org and is “raising the bar particularly around the Web experience,” with HTML5 integration. The site is optimized for Internet Explorer and there are also a bevy of touch-features for mobile devices.

This project has Microsoft written all over it: The map itself is from Bing, you can contact Santa with Skype or via email at NORADtracksSanta@outlook.com, and everything is based on Azure servers.

In addition, before the actual tracking begins on Dec. 24, there are Santa-related games, music and videos you can play around with. You can also track Santa on Windows, Android and iOS devices.

Meanwhile, Google has built its own Santa tracker for the second year in a row, complete with similar mini-games leading up to the big night:

googlesantatracker

Thankfully for the youngsters, Microsoft and Google have discussed their timing plans for Christmas Eve so that the tracking patterns are identical:

https://twitter.com/stefanweitz/statuses/398536364393631744

So, which Santa tracker do you like better — Microsoft or Google?

Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft selling t-shirts and coffee mugs that rip Google’s privacy policies 

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