That’s if this post from an XDA Developers forum member is to be believed:
Went and picked mine up from B&N today and while paying for the unit there was a tech engineer in the store from B&N. I asked him about the browser and he said they are planning to have it available without going to the search feature in the next release. They wanted to get the unit on the market and did not have time necessary to complete everything they had planned for the unit. But he did say it was developed to be a simple ereader and that not a lot will be done from B&N. He was fully aware of what we have done to the Nook Color and was very supportive of XDA efforts.
That sounds half-plausible. But I expect being “supportive” of XDA efforts was probably that engineer’s personal opinion and not official Barnes & Noble policy.