Are you looking for a Windows PC just to create and test a layer? There is a free and fast solution to use a machine with Microsoft Windows XP/Vista OS without pay one cent for the Windows license. This solution is supplied by directly by Microsoft.
Microsoft has released for the Virtual PC software solution, with full OS Windows XP Service Pack2 or VISTA. In each of these there is a different MS Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 Beta 1.
The main purpose for these machines is as described from Microsoft:
VPC Hard Disk Image for testing web sites on IE on Windows XP SP2
But beside that, you can use these images also for other needs, maybe as Systems Administrator you need to install software, doing tests, or packaging software.
Images will expire after some months (3/4 months), that means you will not use these...