Yes, you can easily dual-boot. You can even triple-boot I think if you want to try multiple Linux systems. I dual booted with a number of different systems before finally settling with Linux Mint KDE, all while leaving Windows install unaffected.
One of the reasons i asked is because on the installation process, it doesn't say that it will run side by side with Windows. At least to the point i got (showing different partitions it will create). So, it gives me the impression that it will wipe out Windows.
Glad it worked for you. For reference, I had the nonfunctional software manager at one point too. I installed KXStudio for audio work, installed the update to KDE 4.8 (as described in other topics), and the Software Manager now works just fine for me. I don't know what steps did it, but I have a perfectly working Software Manager. In fact, I have no problems with LM 12 KDE at all.