Current Issue
This Month's Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Google Vs. Bing: Santa Tracker Showdown As NORAD Switches To Microsoft's Maps Service

Maybe when Google sits on Santa's knee in 2013 it can ask for its job back.

Here's a Christmas story for you all: once upon a time there was a defense organization called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD for short. When, due to a misprint, its phone number ended up featuring in a Colorado department store's Christmas ad, the NORAD Santa Tracker was born. Most of you probably know the rest of the story. But here's the innovation bit to it.

For the past decade or so, NORAD has used Google Maps as the brains behind its Santa Tracker. But this year, Google has been replaced by Bing—in some ways an inexplicable decision, given that, in the U.K., for example, Bing's market share is 4%, compared to Google's 89%.

No matter, says Google. The search giant has set up its own Santa Tracker, complete with a Google+Santa Hotline. So, Santa fans, which tracker will you be using over Christmas: the original NORAD version, with the Bing software, or Google's version? (Or are you so cynical that you're just going to keep an eye on your Amazon status updates?)