When you apply the patch to v5.2 it updates the software to v6.0.1.So that is above v6 (i.e. v6 and up).[The reference to the versions in the tips is because there are certain problems that show up ONLY in certain releases - most often in the v5.2 release.]
It is your choice about whether or not to dual-boot your system.For the record, I had dual-booted my laptop with Windows 98/Windows 2000 Pro, but now I run everything on Windows XP.
Compatibility mode does not help you with the Easychart color palette problem under XP.It is not a cure-all for differences in the various Microsoft operating systems.It can fix certain differences, but these are mainly related to games.
You may wish to keep an eye out for the periodic sales which stores such as BestBuy and CompUSA (and othes) have on Broderbund distributed software.I was able to get a copy of the $29.99 list Generations Family Tree Plus software for only $9.99 during one of these sales (which typically last a week).
On the question of future support, about all one can hope for would be that the sales of the current version are large enough to persuade Genealogy.com to keep developing it.Letters and email to them by a sufficient number of users are also important.
Will they pay attention to that - I don't have a crystal ball.....