So yes, it is likely a deliberate decision. Does it mean there's a plot to kill wired connections? Not likely, otherwise they'd have killed them for the surface pro too wouldn't they? Nor would they have delivered built in drivers on the desktop.
You guys cannot kill off wired connections on x86 Windows 8 because too many PCs are connected wired. This would have completely killed Windows 8.
RT is another matter - kill Ethernet on it right now, so that the pesky wired connections (and the ability to pull them) won't be a hindrance in the future. And RT is considered to be "future".