At the same time, I could be that OpenStack's API is superior to VMWare's. With a fleet of servers, you want to automate as much as possible - meaning that at the end of the day, API trumps GUI.
It reflects the bizarre decision VMware made when they wanted only sell to the top end of the market: the biggest customers are also the most likely to have the resources and incentive to build tools around that API. The small to mid scale shops depend on the GUI tools far more.
they would be talking about vmware ESX\vsphere not workstation.
I stopped supporting it in 2008 but at the time it was already apparent that they were trying to milk large companies rather than stay competitive – and that was before the price hikes.
At one point VMWare was actually pricing things by memory used, not processor core counts.
Licenses for the top-end ESXi run $1000 - $3500 list per socket . If you have a large deployment you're going to be inclined to go for the top-end license in order to support distributed switching and granular control over storage/network traffic.