Well, this saga has quite a long timeline, with the original post stretching back to Nov 04, 2011 in this VMware Community post by Mike Laverick, well known for his deep technical content at mikelaverick.com.
Here's that timeline:
VMTN: It was to VMware Developers & Consultants what MSDN is to Windows Developers & Consultants, and it may be coming back
2014, FEB 04, by Paul Braren at TinkerTry
2013, JUL 01, by Paul Braren at TinkerTry
2014, JUN 11, by Mike Laverick at VMware Communities
where Mike makes the quite the conclusion (be sure to read his whole post):
Yes. I guess the arguments for doing this have been well rehearsed - just a quick reminder to everyone following this thread - that it was myself who kickstarted the debate, and so I don't need any convincing.
I think the Microsoft TechNet situation, and the decision not resurrect the VMTN subscription - is not an illustration that neither company cares about its customers or users. What is is reflection of is some VERY different thinking and mindsets. As an avid supporter of our community and homelabs in general, I'm beginning to wonder if the changes we are seeing in our industry are going thru radically change how we keep our skills up to date. Increasingly I'm seeing the shipping of software that's installed locally as a very 1980s/90s/00s approach. I know it well because that's the era I grew up in.
But increasingly I think software vendors are moving over as quickly as possible to a more SaaS based model.
See also a counterpoint, by Chad Sajac in January 2014 here:
I think all our software/virtual appliances should be available for simple download. For everyone. With no “speed bumps” or “secret handshakes”. With no timebomb. With no limits. I’ve argued passionately on this topic with everyone I could find. I’ve beat my head against many walls – but I have a hard noggin :-)
In my experience, customers are smart. They know what software for “not for production use” means. They know that if they dig something – and need it supported (i.e. are using it in production), they will pay for it – and do so happily. Furthermore, as we become more and more of a “software company” every day – we have to nail this – not just in VMware…
The home lab crowd has been lamenting the 60 day time bomb approach for years. My opinion? Well, let's just close with this thought instead.
For my day job, I proudly work for IBM. I have dozens of storage customers, in a wide variety of industries. All of them are on premise, and nearly all of them are growing these in-house datacenters. I realize my perspective is skewed a bit (as a storage vendor by day), and I realize the tide may turn eventually. But my reality is under my nose today. Staying in tune with this reality includes keeping my ESXi install and service skills sharp.
While I appreciate occasional access to work labs, I love having full time access to my own home lab, where I've been "playing" with VMware products first-hand, for over a decade. Learning a lot, while leveraging the heck out of all my home lab gear.
My VMware’s “You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product.” error, and what to do about it.
by Paul Braren, Mar 13 2014.