So you want to try Linux, but you do not know how to go about loading it or you do not want to erase your existing OS installation. I talk a lot on here about Linux and Ubuntu, but for the novice, this may be a little overwhelming. I remember going to Linux, I knew I did not necessarily want to wipe out my Windows install right away. In walks Linux Live USB Creator, a way to put the entire OS on your flash drive, boot from USB, and leave your hard drive intact while you play with Linux.
Linux Live is a little different from some, in that you do not need to reboot to try it. It comes with a built-in virtualization tool that lets you try Linux while booted in Windows. Pretty sweet. Visit the link below, follow the directions, and try out Linux. I would probably take a look at Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 2, with their new Unity interface.