I've already installed Mint alongside Win7 as a dual-boot, and tried it out. It's fine, except that, as expected, certain software doesn't have a Linux variant and when I try to run it in WINE it doesn't perform as expected. Of course, there are different software products that are similar, but also as expected, their functionality is not equivalent to the software I already use, which means I lose features that I use frequently. Grrr. I will eventually have to install Win7 in a VM and so will still be dealing with keeping MS updates away from it. Grrr.