Not really. I'm used to doing things a certain way that's faster for me. For example, ctrl+esc, r, firefox is faster than double clicking or scrolling programs. If I just type firefox in the search box, it doesn't find anything. Can't do ctrl+esc, r and just get a run box anymore. can't do ctrl+esc, p, and pop up a program list anymore. I prefer that to the new stuff.
For example, ctrl+esc, r, firefox is faster than double clicking or scrolling programs.
Under Windows 7, I can hit Ctrl+Esc, type "firefox" and hit enter and Firefox runs just fine. That's using the search box, not the "Run..." box. Pretty much anything you could type into the "Run" box will be the default program found in the "Search" box as well. Try it!
I agree with the others. But to answer your question, it is not possible to remove the search box in Windows 7.
Alternative tip: you could pin Firefox to the Task bar. Suppose it's the second icon from the left, you can launch Firefox quickly by pressing WINKEY+2. By default, Windows Explorer is the most left icon on the Task bar, so you can try the shortcut out by pressing WINKEY+1. It's great for keyboard lovers. :-)