You cannot totally remove it, if I remember correctly. Fact is it is tied deep into the operating system. If you have IE7, you can role it back to IE6, unless you installed SP3 after installing IE7.
Just set your other broswer to default, (Firefox, etc.) and be done with it. Install IE Tab to use Windows Update through it.
Why do you want to remove it any way? Yeah it sucks, but just use Firefox, Opera, etc. and you'll be fine. Is there some problem with it that is affecting your system as a whole??