Right now, the majority of people feel it is not harder because it "follows similar rules as OneBox Optimization."
Well, does it? While OneBox results were almost guaranteed to be at the number one spot on the page, a Google Universal vertical result may not show up at the top or at all.
While Universal Search may take results as if would the OneBox extractor, but the logic in how and when these vertical results are placed within the Google web search results differ from before.
But SEOs and SEMs are up for the challenge and they are excited.
Ben Pfeiffer wrote an excellent article on How To Capitalize on Google Universal Search, which should be read, if you missed it.
I am glad to see most SEOs in Cre8asite Forums smiling over the change as opposed to being upset with it. They are seeing this change as an opportunity and are thus more likely to benefit and be ahead of the curve.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.