I beleive the problem to be a conflict of some sort with antivirus and Windows 7 updates.
After many frustrating "not Responding" message when using Firefox, IE8, and Outlook I decided to do a full fresh reinstall. Experienced the same "Not Responding" issues after all that.
I did some research and heard tha taking out the AntiVirus program maybe the fix. Uninstalled my AV (Eset Nod 32)and so far so good. Not one "Not Responding" message seen. I currently have IE8, Firefox and Outlook open and running. Guess next move is tooi wait and see, then try reinstalling the AV and see what happens.