It’s because Microsoft want to get Windows Phone adopted by corporations and government agencies where camera phones are more of security concern than just fun stuff.
In many IT Firms many managers felt that some codes which are proprietary can be easily taken out using a cam and since the device is so common catching anybody will be difficult.
Another reason which is an extra advantage is making cheaper phones for low end market though even a very low range model comes with a camera even if it is a VGA and very low quality because it has become a standard and fun for everybody who just wants to capture the moment.
Microsoft has updated the Windows Phone specification on 23rd September where both front camera and back camera were made optional. Apart from this Gyro and Compass are two other things that are optional.
Does this mean Fragmented Hardware for Windows Phone ?
In my opinion it was bound to happen when Microsoft partnered with Nokia which has a very strong grip in low range market, specially in India and Brazil where they are famous for long-standing batteries.
If I am not wrong it is already announced in next year we will see more range of hardware in Windows Phone which could be signal to Dual Core or even Quad Core Windows Phone to hit market in near future. Though many including me don’t feel Windows Phone does need such string hardware but keeping future in mind and the way Games are evolving, it cannot be avoided.
What People will miss without a Camera ?
Shooting photos ? Yes that’s pretty obvious but they will be cut off from edge technology like Gesture based controls which is coming to an Android Phone already and nobody will take advantage of Video conferencing.