I try opening WinX DVD Ripper and a couple other programs in Ubuntu 12.04 and once I select/click on the program I get sent to my desktop and nothing happens at all. I replaced Windows 7 with Ubuntu 12.04 and removed any and all Microsoft files I could find on my system. Is that possibly the reason I can not run these programs?
WinX DVD Ripper is, as the name implies, Windows software. Ubuntu, as a Linux distribution, does not run Windows software. It is possible to install a Windows compatibility layer, Wine, which may help some of the software to work.
In general, it's better to install native Linux software though. Wine does not always provide full compatibility with Windows software, or the best performance.
For DVD ripping, I would personally recommend Handbrake, as this has been the easiest program for me. Handbrake is not available in the main Ubuntu repository, so I would refer you to this article on how to install it from a Personal Package Archive, or PPA.