In my early days with PHP, I used to love PHPTriad which installed and configured PHP, Apache and MySQL on my Windows machine instantly. The process of downloading each separately, installing each then configuring them to work together on your Windows machine was really a pain. So PHPTriad was a killer package back then.
As PHPTriad was ditched and not maintined, it was no longer an option, since it did not keep up with new versions of PHP, MySQL and Apache. Despite a recent renewed interest in the resurrection of PHPTriad under the new name of Sokkit, which is a commercial alternative, yet another free open source alternative seems to be on the rise.
XAMPP is the strong PHPTriad alternative, adequately replacing it and filling the gap. It is available for a number of different platforms.