Look under Window > Properties to make sure that Properties is selected.
I was not clear and this is my fault.
Let me explain-the property inspector does appear but many features are missing, such as the stroke segment.
The dimensions segment along i think with the filters segment appear.
Bitmaps and vector objects have different properties. The Properties panel displays the properties available for the selected object. For example, vector objects can have a fill and stroke, but bitmaps do not.
IS there a way a bitmap graphic can be converted to vector?
With illustrator maybe?
There's always a way. It just may not be very "automatic" and depends on the bitmap you're trying to replicate.
In FW, you can trying using the bitmap selection tools to select various bitmap elements, then choose Select > Convert Marquee to Path.
Or you can use the vector tools to manually trace over the bitmap.
In AI, there is an Live Trace feature but depending on the complexity of your bitmap, you may not get exactly what you want, so manually editing/tweaking will be needed. Indeed you may end up with a far more complicated vector than you expect. You'll definitely need to experiment with this feature and the Live Paint counterpart to get what you want.
I believe Flash also has a trace feature.