Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more
As expected, NORAD will launch its popular Santa Tracker on Dec 24th, revealing up-to-the-second whereabouts of Saint Nick and his reindeer as they circle the planet. This year’s NORAD Santa Tracker website will be hosted on Microsoft Azure and maintained by Microsoft engineers. Last year, the Santa Tracker website saw about 15 million pageviews. Microsoft mentioned that more than 25 engineers worked throughout the year to support this NORAD Santa Tracker.
This year’s website also features a new chatbot to respond to timely questions by curious kids. For example, if they ask, “Is there a big drum of hand sanitizer on board the sleigh?”, they will receive “Santa is taking all of the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe as he delivers presents.” as the answer.
Earlier this year, many of those same employees were busy helping Microsoft customers and partners shift their companies to remote work. Against that pandemic backdrop, Microsoft engineers continued to collaborate with NORAD to update the website and build the chatbot, says Susan Sullivan, a Microsoft senior program manager in Azure engineering.