It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and Microsoft is excited to be partnering again with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (“NORAD”) to create their annual Santa Tracker web site! A holiday staple for nearly 60 years, NORAD Tracks Santa allows millions of people every year to watch Santa as he makes his annual trip around the globe. This year’s site – built as part of the Internet Explorer campaign to Rethink what the web can be – features a brand new set of games, improved performance, and an optimized mobile experienced, in addition to the ability to track Santa with the help of Bing Maps.
The NORAD Tracks Santa website features a beautiful, inviting landscape in the classic “Claymation” holiday style. The experience is optimized for touch, from the rotatable globe to the parallax-style navigation to the brand new games. On December 24th, when Santa’s journey begins, you will be able to track him on an interactive, 3D globe – featuring a Bing Maps overlay. Additionally, at every stop along the way, users will be able to click off to a specially-curated Bing results page – to get fun facts and beautiful imagery for each location.
In addition, this year’s NORAD Tracks Santa website has been updated to allow Santa Trackers to follow the big man around the globe on their mobile device. The website was built using responsive design – meaning users will get an optimized experience whether they are using PC, tablet, or mobile phone. And because the site was built using modern web standards, like WebGL, it will work across any modern browser, such Internet Explorer 11.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! For the first time, users on Windows Phone will be able to track Santa with Cortana. Cortana will be getting her information straight from NORAD’s advanced systems, to ensure to the most accurate, up-to-date data. Want to see for yourself – try asking Cortana “Where is Santa now?”
Looking for even more holiday fun? Send your favourite holiday traditions, memories, and wishes to Skype via Video Message for a chance to be featured on the website, and for a chance to win an Xbox One or a $10,000 cash grand prize. Or check out the NORAD Tracks Santa OneDrive page for free downloadable coloring pages and other fun content to keep the kids entertained.
The NORAD Tracks Santa experience is part of the IE team’s Rethink initiative, to create real-world sites that push the limits of what is possible on the web today with a modern browser. Check out some of our other Rethink experiences, including CyArk, Hover, and Everest: Rivers of Ice.
We’re thrilled to have the chance to work with NORAD again to help make the holidays come to life! We hope you and your loved ones have a chance to join us in visiting the NORAD Tracks Santa experience.
Product Marketing Manager, Internet Explorer