This is for those of you who are keen to try out the power of linux but are too well settled with windows to think of dual boot.
First off, read my review of VMWare also in the cool software forum.
Now, Cygwin is a program.. or rather a set of different programs, that lets you emulate a linux shell in windows.. it doesn't just make stupid cosmetic changes - it actually recreates a linux machines directory structure and lets you install quite a bit of linux software. It does this all while sitting in one little directory.. no partitions, no virtual machines, no dual boot.. not even a registry key in your windows.
In fact a lot of linux programs that have been ported for windows are just used with the cygwin dll file !
hop across to www.cygwin.com. Don't be put off by the rather cheap looking site, this is a pretty powerful way to give yourself linux command line powers, it comes with quite a few of the day to day linux utilities that you would want, and you can even get the gcc compiler for it.
For hardcore windows users, don't view this as 'linux' -- its not -- its just an emulation of linux.
Heres a screenshot of me using it. I've got windows explorer open in the background showing you the exact directory I'm looking at in cygwin. I've also just compiled a little 'hello.c' program that outputs "Hello Firewall.cx !!", you can see me compiling and running that in cygwin, and you can see hello.exe in windows explorer !