XAMPP is the easiest way to install MySQL, APACHE and PHP developer environment. Just install 1 single file and it automatically sets up all 3 of those for you without any hassles. The XAMPP LITE version is very useful, it has MySQL, PHP, APACHE and PERL. XAMPP when fully installed has lots more to offer like FILEZILLA and other developer friendly stuff.
So if anyone asks you for an easy way to set up Apache,MySQL and PHP, then XAMPP is the best.
Note : – This is ONLY for DEVELOPER environments and not for production or run time.
This is because XAMPP does not take care of MySQL and Apache security issues – (example – it does not set MySQL admin passwords etc)
Again XAMPP must not be used for production purposes – unless configured carefully
Check out more at apachefriends.org