google "setting up ubuntu 12.04" and you will get no end of guides telling you how to set up Linux and what applications you may want to install onto your machine, it takes a little bit of getting used to, but its a nice operating system when you have it installed and setup properly.
If your looking for software it would be worth looking at Ubuntu Software Centre Ubuntu Software Centre | Ubuntu, I haven't used the latest edition but you'll probably find it in the start menu(this shows I haven't used it in a while, Unity interface down the left hand side). From there once you've got it open you can search for the software you want (You won't be able to run Windows applications on your ubuntu machine as such, though you can with Wine https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wine that said it can be fiddly to setup right if your new to linux.)
Last edited by kernewek-sam; 16th August 2012 at 06:01 PM. Reason: realised my mistake putting start menu.
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