"The internet"!= the internet
To most people out there is no difference between their computer and the rest of the computers on the internet. They just plug in the cable and suddenly their computer becomes more capable.
Similarly, there are a bunch of people that can't tell the different between the internet and IE. In fact on my vanilla Windows XP PC I notice that the menu says "Internet" next to the button to launch IE. If Microsoft calls IE the internet, then not having IE == not having the internet.
As we know many sites won't run on anything other than IE + ActiveX etc. Ubuntu will struggle to deliver that.