Virtualization is not like dualbooting. It is a OS that is completely seperate from your Ubuntu install and will run at the same time as Ubuntu, so there will be a little slowdown. I would try Wine. With wine you can run (most) windows programs natively(no virtualization). The only drawback is that not all programs will work. However I know for a fact that MS Office works since I have used it. To get wine run,
in terminal or search for it in the Software Center. To check if a windows app is compatible search for it at http://appdb.winehq.org/
sudo apt-get install wine
For virtualization you can get virtualbox. To get virutalbox open terminal and run,
or search it in the Software Center. Try Wine first.
sudo apt-get install virtualbox