I'm seriously confused as to why so many of you consider this woman stupid. Yes, the solutions to her problems are obvious to us, but that doesn't make them inherently obvious. I know many people who I consider quite intelligent who don't know what an operating system is -- not because they're stupid, but because to them, computers are just a tool. If you didn't know what an operating system is, you'd expect a new computer to just work, and to work like you're used to.
I think the real problems highlighted here are not the woman's intelligence, nor the functionality or usability of Ubuntu (or Linux in general). The problems are 1) Verizon for some reason has an installation CD that requires Windows, and 2) her online classes for some reason require MS Word.
The first problem is silly, because there's no good reason for it. Comcast is very easy to set up with any browser on any OS. You plug in your cable modem, connect it to any computer (any architecture that supports an ethernet card will do), fire up your browser, plug in some numbers, bam. No need for custom software.
The second problem is also silly, because with standardized file formats and several cross-platform, stable, open-source office suites that support them, it's ridiculous for a school to require students to use proprietary, expensive software.
In short, many of you are being judgmental assholes who don't even seem to understand the situation.