They're just shortcuts. Yes, you can delete the folder if you like - you won't be deleting the actual programs.
BTW, questions such as yours are yet another reason I'm such a strong proponent of EVERYONE using disc imaging software. If you create an image of your drive first and save it to an off-disc medium (preferably a second drive) you can do anything you like within Windows without fear. If you end up messing up you just restore the image you created and you're back where you were before you made any changes.
Edited by Allan, 01 February 2013 - 07:58 AM.