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NORAD teams up with Microsoft and the North Pole to help you track Santa

Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa? The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is too, and you can team up with Microsoft to see exactly where Santa is. Previously available, 'NORAD Tracks Santa' received large amounts of traffic back in 2012 and the website is once again available for 2013. What's more is there are apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Appealing to families preparing for the festive season ahead, you can head on over to the official website to check out some cool content. So what exactly can you do on NORAD Tracks Santa? Whether you're attempting to get the kids even more excited for the big day, or to simply spend a quiet evening together in front of the big screen, there's a lot to see and do.

The website enables you to tune into covers of same famous Christmas tracks you know and love, some video footage of NORAD tracking Santa and even some interactive games. If you're new to Santa, there's even the library for you to read more about the holiday traditions. 

If you're not familiar with NORAD Tracks Santa and what it's all about, for more than 50 years NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. 

"The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born."

This tradition has now turned into a website and tracking apps to remain up-to-date with technology. As well as the unique functionality offered by both the apps and web experience, there's a handy countdown to when NORAD will commence the tracking of Santa - it's not an incorrect counter for Christmas, so fear not.

NORAD IE

Hats off to both the Internet Explorer team and Microsoft in general for improving the NORAD website and creating a sweet experience to ensure everyone's excited for Santa's imminent arrival. Head on over to the official NORAD Tracking Santa website, or download the apps for both Windows 8 (opens in new tab) and Windows Phone (QR code below).

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

25 Comments
  • No Jewish Santa? /s
  • Really? Gee i get you hate Christians but can you hold it in ?
  • Maybe he doesn't hate Christians, but wants the app to be more diverse?
  • Or maybe he was kidding...? I don't think there's anything in here that says Santa's NOT Jewish...
  • I don't hate Christians? I just want to have presents! I want Santa! :P
  • Soon Santa will deliver gifts by drones. Santa PrimeAir.
  • Lol
  • Cool
     
  • Not tracking Scandinavia, at least what i can see. Norad cant spy on us?
  • Since we all know Santa is a Finn, hardly a need to track him in Scandanvia ;)
  • I'm nineteen years old and I still track Santa with my family every year! I love NORAD :)
  • My kids love this each year.
  • Slow news day?
  • Nope, just bothersome comment day brought to you by Jacob ;) (Party balloons should now fall, congrats!)
  • Daniel wins!! Round two....FIGHT..!!
  • This is post 14/18 for today and you're calling it slow? Man, high standards.
  • Ouch!!
  • Lol touché lads touché
  • I didn't know they tracked Santa! Can't wait to see where he is and when I'll get my presents :D
  • Where's that Naughty/Nice app Santa had on his Windows Phone?
  • Well take a look at Korvatunturi and maybe you'll have your day.
  • Kind of flickery on WP.  Hopefully they'll update with some refinements before Christmas.
  • Really??? There is no Santa. Never has been. Why perpetuate his imaginary existence? And don't say it's for the kids. Tell them the truth.
  • Yay! Must have this!
  • I call imposter! the real Santa lives, not in the north pole, but in Finland. In Korvatunturi!