You can launch the dash window by clicking the Distributor icon (the Ubuntu logo) on the Unity Panel or hitting the super key (aka the Windows key) on your keyboard.
- Most Frequently Used
- Available for Download
Clearly, Ubuntu is moving towards an Android-type interface and focussing more on social use. Whilst this is not necessarily a bad thing, there are some shortcomings!
Firstly, the Dash is dark and I find it a little depressing. Secondly, configuring Dash is as limited as configuring the Unity-Panel (see links). However, I suspect that as this release of Ubuntu (and the next) will start to rectify these issues and the Ubuntu GUI will once again become the home of eye-candy.
Sources & References
Ask Ubuntu How Can I Configure Unity?
Jorge Castro How I use the Unity Dash - video