No need for other partitions if you virtualize.

Using x64 DosBox and VirtualBox on Win8 x64 solves all problems here. You can run older 16bit applications without problems.
Programs that worked well in Win98/2000/XP (even if they are 32bit but have compatibility issues in Win8) run well in a VM.

So I agree with what Kat, Coke Robot and phailyoor say about this.