The decision to ship open source part of Android without a browser is probably another part of Google’s strategy to take back the control of Android. But it may also give an opening for other browser makers such as Firefox.
Unfortunately, no matter how you slice this Google gets what they want, which is more revenues from mobile chrome and Google Search.
This kind of “Open but intentionally handicapped” maneuver is the reason why Tizen exists.
This is not “evil” by any stretch, but Google is starting to turn the screws and solidify the perception that it is not the company that it used to be.