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I just tried IDE 1.0.3 and then 1.5.2.  In both cases if I open "SoftwareSerialExample" and run Sketch->Verify/Compile, I get errors.  I'm not able to use SoftwareSerial anymore at this point. I don't have clue what these errors mean.

Errors:
In file included from SoftwareSerialExample.ino:28:
C:\Users\Doug\Documents\Arduino\libraries\SoftSerial/SoftwareSerial.h:95: error: conflicting return type specified for 'virtual void SoftwareSerial::write(uint8_t)'
C:\arduino-1.5.2\hardware\arduino\avr\cores\arduino/Print.h:48: error:   overriding 'virtual size_t Print::write(uint8_t)'


This is the example code (nothing has been changed. Exactly as it is from a fresh zip file):
Code:
/*
  Software serial multple serial test
 
 Receives from the hardware serial, sends to software serial.
 Receives from software serial, sends to hardware serial.
 
 The circuit:
 * RX is digital pin 10 (connect to TX of other device)
 * TX is digital pin 11 (connect to RX of other device)
 
 Note:
 Not all pins on the Mega and Mega 2560 support change interrupts,
 so only the following can be used for RX:
 10, 11, 12, 13, 50, 51, 52, 53, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69
 
 Not all pins on the Leonardo support change interrupts,
 so only the following can be used for RX:
 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 (MISO), 15 (SCK), 16 (MOSI).
 
 created back in the mists of time
 modified 25 May 2012
 by Tom Igoe
 based on Mikal Hart's example
 
 This example code is in the public domain.
 
 */
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

SoftwareSerial mySerial(10, 11); // RX, TX

void setup() 
{
  // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:
  Serial.begin(57600);
  while (!Serial) {
    ; // wait for serial port to connect. Needed for Leonardo only
  }


  Serial.println("Goodnight moon!");

  // set the data rate for the SoftwareSerial port
  mySerial.begin(4800);
  mySerial.println("Hello, world?");
}

void loop() // run over and over
{
  if (mySerial.available())
    Serial.write(mySerial.read());
  if (Serial.available())
    mySerial.write(Serial.read());
}
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Looks like you have a third-party SoftwareSerial library installed in C:\Users\Doug\Documents\Arduino\libraries\SoftSerial

Get rid of it.
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