19/12/2012 11:18 GMT | Updated 18/02/2013 10:12 GMT

Google Santa Tracker To Compete With Microsoft And Norad's GPS Maps

Google Maps has announced it will be following Santa's sleigh this year - despite being dropped by the 'official' aerospace tracking system.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) has been tracking Father Christmas with Google's help since 2007.

But this year they have switched its mapping provider to Microsoft, and will be offering a separate Windows 8 app for the purpose.

In a statement Norad said: "This year, NTS and Google mutually agreed to go in new directions, and we are excited to welcome a number of new contributors, to include Microsoft, Windows Azure, Bing, and iLink-systems, among others, to help us in our mission of tracking Santa".

IE: Google's on the 'bad' list.

But not to be outdone, Google has unveiled its own Santa tracking system.

Google's Santa Tracker will be tracked via a new and highly complex algorithm (Google said) which will let users follow the red-suited gentleman around the world including individual cities from 24 December.

So if you or your children want to follow Santa's progress like a Fedex package this Christmas, they'll be spoiled for choice.

No word from Apple yet, however - we have a feeling Father Christmas won't be relying on their maps this year...