We got notice that the direct ESX download links were removed from the download page of vSphere: a strong signal from VMware for all those organizations still using the once-flagship hypervisor. VMware stated multiple times that the future lies in ESXi (or Hypervisor, as it is now named) and tiny hypervisors with very small footprint: ESX will be shifted for ESXi-Hypervisor from the next version of vSphere.