I sugest a start search like the one in the windows vista in the PortableApps Menu.
When we click on the tray icon, the menu shows and the cursor focus at a Editbox that allow write something to search a app name, in the list.
It is very simple and very usefull.
Furthermore, the menu can be activate by pressing a set of buttons. Like "[Windows] + P".
Ewerton Ramos Pires
Things like this have already been suggested actually, so it's best to search first next time. The current beta release of the menu (you'll have to search for it) does support a hotkey to show it I believe. However, as cool a feature as the searching is, I wouldn't expect it to come anytime soon.
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the geek.menu has the intergrated search function.
Too many lonely hearts in the real world
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Don't wanna live my life in the real world
Launchy (http://www.launchy.net/) can be run as a portable application. IMO it's better than the Vista start menu search.