The search function exists in the Windows Start menu for over a decade now. It was first introduced in Windows Vista and has continued to become smarter with each new version of Windows. Basically you can click on the Start button and start typing the names of programs, commands, website addresses and so on to find them or launch them.
But if you want a faster and easier to use launcher, then you can use the open-source Ueli launcher for Windows. This launcher can be used either in the portable mode or you can install it in your Windows PC. Once installed, you can use hotkey Alt+Space to invoke it. When the launcher appears, you can start typing anything that you want to launch.
Ueli support launching of files & folders, installed programs, command lines, system tools and more. But this is all expected from any launcher. What makes Ueli different is the unique features it supports. For example, you can use it as a calculator just as you would use Google search.
You can use it to search something on many popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Google Images, Wikipedia and Youtube. You can add more search engines to Ueli was editing the ueli.config.json file in the %UserProfile% folder. For searching a phrase, you have to type search engine prefix (e.g., d for DuckDuckGo) followed by a question mark and then the search phrase.
Similarly, you can open websites, send email messages, run command line tools, and even add your own custom tools to Ueli. But one thing that you would notice is that Ueli has no GUI customization available. The only way you can customize it is by editing ueli.config.json manually using the guidelines given on its GitHub website.
You can download Ueli launcher for Windows from https://github.com/oliverschwendener/ueli/releases.