Well, not quite obsolete but sure enough Microsoft is issuing a challenge to Apple’s trademark gesturing with a new search shortcut called Lasso. Instead of holding your finger on a block of text in order to bring up the loupe and painstakingly dragging little blue dots to select the beginning and end of your selection, the Lasso tool has you draw freely around text on web pages, which triggers a quick search from that selection.

Bing group program manager Tony Chor says the Apple method requires up to nine steps versus simply drawing an arbitrary shape in the case of the updated Bing for iPad app, which hits the App Store later today. From the usability point of view, Microsoft’s Lasso beats the Safari search box anytime, especially the tedious process of copying and pasting a text selection,  if you ask us…

via CNET

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