: I use iis for a testing server in Windows XP. The installation is much easier and easier to configure.
: Don't get me wrong, if I had a Linux machine I would have used Apache, but it's just a testing server.Keep it simple.
I runned Apache, PHP and MySQL both on Windoze and Linux. I don't had any problems with this.
Apache configuration for using with PHP is quite simple. When you read documentation for PHP, there is an example of line what should be added to httpd.conf. It is sufficient to copy this line into httpd.conf and then restart Apache. MySQL v4 for Win32 has a small bug, but isn't serious. There is an program which runs mysqld (main MySQL program). When you stop mysqld, then this small application you must terminate manually. But this isn't serious and I think you won't stop mysqld manually.
I think when you learn PHP, read about sessions, they are very useful. When you want to learn PHP good, try to make bigger project, e.g. system for adding HTML articles trough HTML interface. This is very good and useful exercise and you will learn very much things. When you finish it, you'll be able to make good programs in PHP