You can install many windows programs in Ubuntu with wine and launch them from there but you cannot launch programs that are installed in Vista from Ubuntu. Prior to installing though see if there is a native (ie written for Linux) equivalent to the program you want. For example, there really isn't anything in MSOffice that I miss by using LibreOffice and there are windows and Linux versions of Mysql. Failing that and if it doesn't install with Wine then you could install a copy of windows in VMWare and launch that from within Ubuntu when you have a can't live without Windows ap. If you have a specific program you want let me know and we'll take it from there.