Did you know that a license for Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition comes with 4 VM usage rights? Or that a Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition license includes unlimited VM usage rights?
Virtualization is changing the software landscape quite a bit and will continue to do so. Companies including Microsoft have done a lot to enable customers to take advantage of new capabilities that more powerful processors and improved system architectures offer.
One important aspect besides new hardware and software is licensing, software licensing in particular. Some time ago Microsoft has already started adjusting its licensing models for OS and for server products enabling customers to take advantage of Virtualization in their organization without paying more.
New licensing is only good if it is transparent for customers and if they have an easy way to find the best deals for their situation. To help finding the best licensing models for your business Microsoft has introduced a licensing calculator for Windows server operating systems.
This new calculator helps in assessing current licensing costs and comparing them to licensing in the light of virtual machines.