There is a rather odd statement in the explanation: "Hyperthreading does not affect licensing limits". That's not correct. Hyperthreading doess affect licensing limits on a virtual machine, if this question had been about running on a VM instead of directly on a physical machine the limit would have been reduced from 24 logical processors (12 cores) to 16 logical processors (8 cores) since the question states that hyperthreading is switched on: so having hyperthreading would reduce the licensing limit.
In the question explanation I say that the max logical processors SE can use is 16 when on VM, otherwise SE will use all logical processors (max 16 x 2 = 32). The question is for 12 physical cores.
I also posted the query which you can run to see the visible logical processors in sql server. It lists 16 on a VM with 18 logical processors. On a 12 core physical server with hyperthreading enabled, sql server makes use of 24.
The QotD is mine experience with dedicated physical and virtual servers.
Licesing is ONLY per core.
Igor Micev,My blog: www.igormicev.com