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Operation Rudolph: NORAD and Microsoft team up to track Santa

Dec. 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM ET

Santa checks in with NORAD prior to his 2012 flight.
YouTube
Santa checks in with NORAD prior to his 2012 flight.
Microsoft and NORAD have teamed up to build the Santa Tracker website.
Microsoft
Microsoft and NORAD have teamed up to build the Santa Tracker website.

This Christmas, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will have an unusual target on its radar, one with a round little belly that shakes when he laughs, sources say, like a bowl full of jelly.

Microsoft has teamed up for the second year in a row with NORAD to release its Santa Tracker website, which, on Christmas Eve, will "track" jolly St. Nick's progress on a virtual globe as he travels around the world delivering presents.

"NORAD uses many of its assets to track Santa," a Microsoft spokesperson told NBC in an email. That, apparently, may or may not include NORAD's 47 radar installations spread throughout the United States and Canada, and its satellites, which should be able to "detect Rudolph's bright red nose with no problem," the Microsoft spokesperson said.

If your kids can't wait until Dec. 24, the site also features plenty of games, animations and a holiday music library, with a focus on the touch-screen capabilities of Windows 8.1 tablets. Impatient kids who want constant updates can contact NORAD by calling 877-HI-NORAD or checking in via the site's built-in Skype button. 

And yes, in case you were wondering, you can follow Santa's whereabouts on Twitter

Keith Wagstaff writes about technology for NBC News. He previously covered technology for TIME's Techland and wrote about politics as a staff writer at TheWeek.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @kwagstaff and reach him by email at: Keith.Wagstaff@nbcuni.com

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