Good luck with that hope.. They'll give you Windows 95 or NT4 with Firefox or iTunes instead, and claim that "Windows 98 and higher support Internet Explorer as an integral part of the operating system" and that "removing it would impact the overall user experience".
It would make me wonder, though, how Windows XP would function without Internet Explorer. For all we know, by now Internet Explorer has become the operating system itself.
And about WMP in Windows. Windows works completely fine with all its IE integration and all without Windows Media Player. A great example of this is Windows 98 First Edition, which shipped without WMP (yes, it had the ActiveMovie AX control, but that can just be deleted by removing actmovie.ocx). Unless Microsoft has decided to have all their UI animations/visual effects based on Windows Media, I can't see any real problem with removing WMP from Windows.
Either way, I'd love to see the heads roll when this thing releases.
UserAgent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.2; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040804 Netscape/7.2 (ax)
Laptop: HP Compaq nx6325 - Turion 64 X2 @ 2GHz, 2GB DDR2, 100GB HD, ATI Radeon X300, 15" LCD, Seven Pro
Handheld: Palm Treo 650 - Intel PXA270 @ 312MHz, 10MB RAM, 32MB flash, 2.7" LCD, Palm OS 5.4