You're most welcome.
I've never liked IIS and I think it's easier to just avoid it. Most hosts use Apache anyway so why deal with two different web servers. And yes you have to tell Apache how to handle PHP and where it is. XAMPP ties everything you need into a nice clean package. Just remember that it's not secure enough to use as a production server without tweaking it. It's specifically designed to make development easy.
Glad you got things sorted, and thanks for posting back the results.
BTW XAMPP is available for Linux, Windows, OS X, and Solaris and is free: