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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.

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

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.

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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 But this year, Google has been replaced by Bing–in some ways an inexplicable decision, given that, in the U.K., for example, Bing’s market share is 4%, compared to Google’s 89%.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?)

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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