I downloaded Blender 64 bit and the OS indicated that the program was not compatible with my computer chip. I then downloaded the 32 bit version which seemed to allow me to install. However the blender Icon in windows when pressed informs me that the program is not a window application. I have an Intel(R) Core (TM)2 Duo CPU E7300 @2.66Ghz if that is important and I am running XP. I am fairly sure I am doing something wrong here- can anyone help please?
The last version of blender that was officially compatible with Windows XP was blender 2.76. Versions after that probably won't work. You can download previous version of blender here.
To quote Martijn Berger (a blender developer) from here on why support for XP was dropped:
We implicitly dropped Windows XP when switching to python 3.5. Python has the so called PEP system and PEP 11 "Removing support for little used platforms" defines the support for windows XP to be over at the same time Microsoft stopped supporting it. Since python 3.5 released after XP died it does not support XP.
While it might be possible to backport python 3.5 to windows XP i think that we should not do this.
So blender 2.77 will not run on XP. The 32 bit release requires Vista or newer and the 64 bit release Windows 7 SP1 or newer.