Re: The even more cynical amongst us..
This comment isn't really related to VMware so read on if you want to. That said :-
This is nothing new. I work in the EU, and was involved in the development and deployment of a fleet-wide (~200+ vehicles) integrated data and management system using cellular routers from a North American equipment manufacturer, mainly on the strength of their 'back end' management platform.
It really was a thing of beauty and flexability, due to their excellent and flexible hardware (Expensive, but good) and the truly excellent back-end that allowed management of the fleet's devices, Settings changes (and therefore the end-user's 'experience') were comparatively simple and near-instantaneous, no matter where the relevant vehicle was in the EU. We re-sold several variants of the system, despite the initial capex being on the high side, on the strength of the back-end management & reporting system.
Licensing changes occurred typically once annually, steadily placing more focus on the management suite until........the per-device licence fee when remotely managed rose ~450% in one go..... instantly a non-viable solution for most of our existing customers - the opex was now seriously (actually prohibitively) unattractive, and NONE of our fleet customers opted to renew their device licences, in most cases switching to an alternative solution.
So...nothing unexpected here. Build a following, achieve significant market share, create 'vendor lock-in' and then monetise the f**k out of the thing - In this case, to death. I'll never recommend their solution again.
It's just business, but it it's not playing the game nicely.