Many people know from their own experience that it's not easy to install an Apache web server and it gets harder if you want to add MySQL, PHP and Perl.
XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just download, extract and start.
The distribution for Windows 98, NT, 2000, 2003, XP and Vista.
This version contains: Apache, MySQL, PHP + PEAR, Perl, mod_php, mod_perl, mod_ssl, OpenSSL, phpMyAdmin, Webalizer, Mercury Mail Transport System for Win32 and NetWare Systems v3.32, Ming, JpGraph, FileZilla FTP Server, mcrypt, eAccelerator, SQLite, and WEB-DAV + mod_auth_mysql.
Vista Note: Because missing or insufficient write permissions in the c:\program files folder of the default vista installation, we recommend to use alternate folders for XAMPP e.g. c:\xampp or c:\myfolder\xampp.
To install XAMPP you only need to download and extract XAMPP, that's all. There are no changes to the Windows registry (not true if you use the Windows installer version of XAMPP) and it's not necessary to edit any configuration files. It couldn't be easier!
To check that XAMPP is working some sample programs are included, there is a small CD collection program (written in PHP using MySQL) and a small guest book software (written in Perl) and several other demonstration utilities.
If you decide that XAMPP isn't needed any more just delete the XAMPP directory and it's completely removed from your system.
However if you use the Windows installer version of XAMPP it's recommended to use the uninstall feature. As every installer the installer will make registry entries to remember the install.
The philosophy behind XAMPP is to build an easy to install distribution for developers to get into the world of Apache. To make it convenient for developers XAMPP is configured with all features turned on.
The default configuration is not good from a security point of view and it's not secure enough for a production environment - please don't use XAMPP in such environment.