I attended a web seminar on the new enhancements in version 13.0 of SPSS software. The most notable change is in date calculations.
Date and time variables in SPSS have always been difficult. I have a web page showing some of the issues involved with computing the difference between two dates. SPSS has now added a Data and Time Wizard. Select TRANSFORM | DATE/TIME from the menu. Here’s the first dialog box from that menu.
This is a very pleasant surprise, since dates are a source of constant confusion for me and for the people I work with. There were other enhancements, but to me this is the only important one.
There are many enhancements in version 12. The graphs are far nicer and variable names have a lot more flexibility. It is definitely worth your trouble to upgrade to version 12. Version 13 is also nice, but not as critical.
You can find an earlier version of this page on my original website. New in SPSS version 13.0