The free Start++ turbocharges that search box. It lets you create shortcut commands and aliases to perform all kinds of tasks, both on your PC and the Internet. For example, if you wanted to search Google for the term Nibelung, you could type "g Nibelung" at the search box, and press Enter, and it would launch the Google search for you, and display the results in your browser.
The program lets you do far more than that, and includes "Search startlets" that can automate complex tasks when you type in a word or two. For example, if you typed "play Mozart" at the search box and pressed Enter, it would do a search for all music on your PC with the keyword "Mozart," create a playlist of all that music, and then open Windows Media Player, and play the playlist.
Start++ comes with a variety of "command startlets" and "search startlets" already built in. Search gadgets are on the way, which will be gadgets that can work right on the Windows Vista start menu.
You can also create your own command startlets and search startlets easily, by filling in a simple form. With them, you'll soon find countless different ways to make life at the keyboard just a little bit easier. Given that the program is free, that's a hard deal to pass up.