Every December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (“NORAD”) serves the important role of ensuring that Santa’s journey around the world is safe. Since 1955, children of all ages have tracked his route with the help of NORAD’s radar, satellites, and jet fighters. This year, Microsoft has lent a hand to make the experience the most magical yet, putting a fresh spin on the time-honored tradition with the launch of the new www.NORADSanta.org.
This is not the first time Microsoft has worked with NORAD Tracks Santa. Last year, the company provided interactive Bing Maps to give people at home an interactive visual of Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve, which was powered by Windows Azure, as well as apps for Windows and Windows Phone that allowed people a platform to play and learn.
The Internet Explorer team collaborated with NORAD to rebuild the Web experience from the ground up. The new site features a recreation of Santa’s village that you can explore to discover new games daily, music, videos and more. The site is fully touch-enabled, which makes for a truly immersive experience. On Dec. 24, a touch-enabled 3-D globe will light up as Santa begins his journey worldwide. Bing Maps is at the heart of the journey again and Bing Maps is the canvas on which Santa’s journey is plotted.
“The Internet Explorer team and everyone at Microsoft have taken the spirit of the holidays that’s central to what we do with NORAD Tracks Santa and helped bring it to today’s modern web and devices,” Stacey Knott, NORAD Tracks Santa Program Manager, told us. “We’re hearing so many fun comments from people who are checking out the new website and apps and love what they see.”
While you can still dial the number from a telephone, voice calling enabled by Skype this year means that with just one click, you, and your kids can interact with the NORAD Tracks Santa Command Center to check in on Santa’s status any time you want.
Microsoft also made apps for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone. The Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 apps will feature live tiles. Windows Azure keeps the apps running on the backend.
For a look into NORAD’s history and our work with them, check out our mini-documentary on modernizing the tradition. And, make sure to try your hand at the games unveiled each day and track Santa on Dec. 24 at www.NORADSanta.org.
Source: The Fire Hose