I wanted a way to run Visual Studio for my Mono/C# development on Linux, as MonoDevelop really wasn't cutting it for me in terms of Resharper-like features. I decided to install a virtual machine.
At first I searched around for a very lightweight version of Win7 I used in the past in virtual machines, but quickly realized Microsoft has a better solution: "embedded" distributions of Windows.
After signing into my DreamSpark account, I downloaded the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro with Update ISO. From there, it was as simple as creating a virtual machine in VirtualBox, booting to the ISO, and installing Windows 8.1.
The install was very fast and lightweight and in no time I am now running Windows 8.1 on my Linux laptop!
Unfortunately seamless mode doesn't seem to work properly. I tried a number of solutions but in Gnome 3 I couldn't make it work.