So Christmas is finally here and children — and quite a few grown-ups — around the world are getting ready to hang their socks up for Father Christmas to fill up with gifts and treats. Incidentally, it is also the time when Google and Microsoft manage to combine their rivalry with the festive spirit by indulging into the annual Santa Tracker event.
Google has deployed its own Santa Tracker that lets its website pinpoint your location and calculate your distance from the gift-bearing-reindeer cart while also allowing you to keep track of how many presents Father Christmas has hidden under pillows or stuffed into socks. Also, in a first, kids can now play over twenty educational games on Google’s Santa Tracker page, including one that teaches them to use code to orchestrate a dance for the merry little elves.
You can also install a chrome extension that will keep you updated with every little detail of Santa’s journey, automatically. Finally, Santa’s journey can be followed upon the TV screen with Chromecast — Bet the kids would love that!
Microsoft on the other hand, has continued with its partnership with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and will deliver automatic updates to Windows 10, Microsoft’s Edge Browser and Cortana users. Microsoft has a pretty interesting story to tell about NORAD’s involvement too.
Sixty years ago, a mistake in a newspaper ad led to calls to the predecessor of the North American Aerospace Defense Command from children who wanted to talk to Santa. The command center director that day, Col. Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for signs of Santa making his way south from the North Pole and gave kids updates on his location.
This year, there is an online holiday-themed coloring book that is exclusive to Windows 10 & the Microsoft Edge Browser along with an image carousel of the cities the Jolly Ol’Man in the red is visiting.
Also, Kids — and adults too — can ask Cortana out loud for details for Santa’s journey around the globe. Kids — again, adults too if they are so inclined — can colour in a maze, Christmas tree, presents, a wreath, reindeer, bells, snowflakes etc on the Norad website that is spported by the Microsoft Azure team.
Well, with so many people tracking Santa, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone actually manages to catch a glimpse of Father Claus by the time the night ends. Meanwhile, between Google and Microsoft, parents have quite a lot to keep their kids happily occupied with until the promise of the gifts to come, induces them to turn in early tonight.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!