Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is empowering
So many of the comments before me have lambasted other commenters using a comparison to some other technical field, such as internal combustion engines, home repair, etc. Most are in the form of "do you know anything about X?"
First, to these people I say, yes, why yes I do know about the workings of my car, I know how to frame a house, install insulation, wire it up, plumb it, etc. Do I do these things on a regular basis? No, I don't; they are not my job. Do I do them for myself? Yes, sometimes, though I do have to weigh the costs and benefits.
This lady is obviously ignorant. Stupid? Not certain, but seems probable. I have little sympathy for people who learn of their ignorance and still choose to do nothing about it. In my area we have recently had an influx of Burmese refugees, along with past influxes of various African refugess. Most of these people know nothing of western life when they get here. One of the Burmese ladies was afraid of an egg beater because of it's lethal-looking mechanical nature (ROTM will never happen if she has any say, I'd guess). Many of the Africans were illiterate or nearly so in their native language, much less English or Spanish (I'm in the US, so English is pretty important for everyday life, barring that Spanish makes a good fallback in my area). The Burmese, nearly every one, know how to read English, but cannot even pronounce a single word of it when they arrive - they learn from teachers who do not know how to speak the language. I could go on, but I'm sure you've all got the plot by now: life is difficult for them.
(New paragraph for those who got bored) And yet, nearly all of these refugees can pick up not only the basic skills they need to live (how to ride a bus, where and how to shop, how to operate egg-beaters), whatever skills are required for their new job (many of them slaughter chickens), but also sideline skills, such as how to operate a computer, at least well enough to have a harem of online girlfriends, how to do basic repairs on a car, etc.
If they can do all that, why can't this woman learn how to plug her Ethernet cable in (Verizon provides DSL, and having used it, I know that to get it running with Ubuntu you have to plug it in, and plug the Ethernet cable into the machine)? If she NEEDS MS Word (as in she is taking a class in MS Word, and therefore cannot actually use OpenOffice), then there are a variety of solutions; she could/should have explained to the Dell rep that she has to use MS Word, because the class is on that particular program. If she wanted to be even less ignorant, she could have done a bit of research - wine (which has Ubuntu packages) will install and run MS Office 2007 (which, if it is a class about Word, or Office, would be what is required) without a hitch. If she wanted a slightly different approach, she could have installed the free version of VirtualBox or VMWare and acquired a copy of Windows to install there (though this seems unlikely, since it implies she actually wants to learn something about one or both OSes).
This lady is just *trying* to remain ignorant, (since it is a blissful state), which means that she is trying not to learn - not the correct mental state for advanced schooling.