This is a common problem, especially with Dell computers, even brand new ones. It's related to the population of the "Import from " menu with the installed device drivers. Evidently some or more of those drivers in incomparable with Picasa.
The solution is to set Autoplay on your computer to "Ask me every time" when a memory card or camera is inserted, then select "Copy photos to my computer and view them using Picasa". Then close Picasa, insert your memory card, and select "Copy photos to my computer and view them using Picasa". Windows launches Picasa, goes directly to the import screen and imports directly from that memory card. This bypasses completely the "Import from" menu (since the "import from" device is in effect already selected). Never, never click the Import button on Picasa's main screen or it will crash immediately.