I am probably late answering your questions. Yes you can install without having to dual boot. Just pay attention to the install instructions to install along side (dual boot) or use the whole disk (only the new install is on your machine)
I guess my question now would be can I make the change by popping in a USB set up with Universal USB installer without having to dual boot? Or am I going to have to save everything and get ready to format the hard drive? I see now that 12.10 is where I need to be, NOT Windows!! lol I appreciate all the help.