Taking a break from Internet Explorer 11, Paul Thurrott and I decided to take a look at some improvements coming to Search in the next version of Windows 8.1, codenamed "Blue".
The new Search Pane in Windows 8.1 does away with the visually distinct result categories -- Apps, Settings, and Files -- and instead provides results sorted by relevance in an easily accessible manner.
Paul has a full rundown of the new Search Pane in his "Blue's Clues: New Search Experience", so be sure to read that.
But if you're just looking to play around with it, you can do so via the registry script below. (Be sure to restart Explorer after running.) Be aware, however, that the Search Pane is buggy, incomplete, and does not appear to be finding settings correctly. I'll keep working on it and post any updates here.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SearchPane] "NewSearchPane"=dword:00000001 "NewSettingsSearch"=dword:00000001 "NewFilesSearch"=dword:00000001