I have a new HP Pavilion dv6-3230us that I'd like to dual boot with Ubuntu Precise. It currently has Windows 7, but I have an upgrade offer for Windows 8 that I intend to redeem. The problem is that the laptop already has the hard drive maximum of four partitions filled up as follows:

/dev/sda
/dev/sda ntfs 208mb / 69mb
/dev/sda ntfs 468483mb / 41685mb
/dev/sda ntfs 31305mb / 26704mb
/dev/sda fat32 108mb / 33mb

There is no rush on installing anything and there are no backup discs with this laptop (floor model). This thread should help me: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1990100

Should I just wait and install Windows 8 when I get it, then hopefully I won't have the huge mess of all four partitions being filled up, and then install Ubuntu 12.04 in a new partition I create? Or will the same problem still prevent installation.

Here are my questions:
--Will installing Windows 8 clean off the extra partitions?
--If I need to, how can I burn the excess partitions to DVD and which one is the "system image" backup partition that I would plan on deleting? This laptop has a nifty fingerprint scanner to login with; I suppose that is an HP Tool and I'm guessing that it could be installed in the HP Tools partition that I understand is one of the three smaller ones (it's okay if that part isn't Linux compatible).
--Is there some MAJOR innovation in Ubuntu 12.10 that I should consider? (I prefer to stick with to one stable system rather than update every six months to something new)