Downloaded and tried the programming software for my 4 metre Wouxun KG699-E. At first I couldn't get it to connect to the radio (I'm using a serial cable which worked with my Puxings and dual band Wouxun). I found that to get it to connect for the first time, you select the serial port while the radio is switched off and then switch it on. Otherwise there is an error message saying something like the serial port can't be opened.
The software for the dual bander seems to be like this too, I had trouble getting that to work at first.
My PC motherboard has no serial ports fitted (there is a COM1 internally but no connector, I've disabled this), so I've installed a PCI dual serial port card. For some reason, in Vista, the port numbers are the opposite way round to in XP (COM1 on the right in XP). I've got a USB to serial adaptor and some other devices which have one of those in them (antenna analyser, Icom control cable) but they usually change port numbers every time they are plugged in because Windows won't re-use a serial port number.
At the moment I'm using XP on my main PC but I've also got Vista on the other hard disk. I was using Vista as my main OS up until October but then I put Windows 7 on instead to try. When the 30 days was up on Windows 7 I started using XP again instead of putting Vista back on straight away. Even though I've got Vista on again (restored a Ghost image of the Vista partition) I haven't bothered using it much since then.
There's probably less reason now to stop using XP because now it's on most netbook type PCs, it has to be supported and new software released for it. Software needs to run on a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, XP and 1GB of RAM. And if it runs on that, it'll also run on a 6 year old desktop PC.