What you see is NOT the default but what I have it set to. Go through these settings, and get a feel for what they do!
The start search has been streamlined! When "search everywhere" is checked in taskbar settings, search results include EVERYTHING; files, apps, and settings! Results appear below the search field.
When testing this, I found it odd that I would press the windows key, then results would appear below while the apps list would stay idle, so I poked around, and found that Windows-S serves the exact same functionality. No more searching by pressing "windows" and being distracted. Its all about the new streamlined Windows-S. Combo that with the "sign in to desktop" option, i'll hardly see that screen now! Windows-S is 8.1 only.
If you click the suggestions below the results, it'll do a bing search for those terms in the bing app. Pretty neat, and what I had expected 8.0 to do before the change in direction to "Modern" apps.