Licencing limitations of the free version of Hyper-V

Following on from this question...

would someone explain to me in a nutshell what the licensing limitations of the free version of Hyper-V are.  I basically would like to know if I can install it on a company machine to test our builds before rollout.  We cant get funding for an MSDN subscription unfortunately.  

I believe this is referred to as Hyper-V standard (correct me if I am wrong).  I already know it has to be remotely managed from a MMC.exe console remotely on a Vista or Win7 machine. 7
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one free virtual instance for Standard Edition
four free virtual instances for Enterprise Editions
unlimited virtual instances for Datacenter Edition

one free virtual instance for Standard Edition, four free virtual instances for Enterprise Editions, and unlimited virtual instances for Datacenter Edition with the purchase of a license of Windows Server 2008

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lukeglazebrookAuthor Commented:
Do you happen to know if that means I can only run one free virtual machine at any given time?  Can I still have multiple machine VHD's in the console and ready to start.
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Batuhan CetinCIOCommented:
The above limitations are the number of VHDs you can have, you may keep them all running or not. For example having a fifth enterprise edition VHD is illegal even you don't boot it. You can boot all 4 VHDs together.
Microsoft defines Virtual Instance as as a running Virtual Machine so the standard version can only run 1

I dont know if you can have more hosts to be honest
Batuhan CetinCIOCommented:
For standard edition, you can only have one virtual machine, running or not. The OS limitations are based on installing the product, not running them. You must install the OS to the second VHD even you won't run it. That's where you violate the license.
Darius GhassemCommented:
You get no free OS licenses when you install the free Hyper-v verison you can use eval copies but you can't use full verisons. So, you will have purchase OSes licenses.
Batuhan CetinCIOCommented:
I think buying one Server OS with Hyper-V is a more economical way to go then buying OS licenses. With a Windows 2008 Entrprise with Hyper-V license, you pay more but you actually get 5 OS licenses, 4 virtual and 1 physical. And you pay less than 5 Server 2008 Ent OS licenses.
Cláudio RodriguesFounder and CEOCommented:
I guess it depends what you want to do. For example if I have a two node Hyper-V solution connected to shared storage and all I need is to run 6 VMs running Windows Server 2008 standard is it cheaper to buy two Enterprise at almost $4000 each and then get the 8 licenses for the VMs at no cost or to simply use the free Hyper-V on the two physical boxes and purchase 6 2008 STD licenses for my VMs at $1000 each?

Cláudio Rodrigues
Citrix CTP
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