Rather than having the user pick a category such as music or stocks and then search, Google guesses what vertical your search is in and puts that result at the top of your search results.
Addresses -> Maps
Businesses -> Map & Reviews
Stock Quotes -> Stock Chart
Music Artists -> Artist Tracks
For some types of searches, Google just shows the results in the Google Suggest feature, so you don't even have to click search! Examples include:
Missing are Facebook & LinkedIn for people searches and shopping comparison for product searches. I can understand Google's reticence about integrating successful social networks since Google lacks one, and Facebook and LinkedIn results inevitably end up near the top. The AdWords free-for-all based on product searches is not one I think they will ever optimize for the enduser.
The Google vertical search progress is impressive and I have found myself using vertical searching less and less and going back to the Google mothership. Well done.