WordPress Dev Environments

After designing and developing with WordPress on a mac for years, I've made the switch to a PC. On the mac I used MAMP, and now I'm using XAMP. I would like to use something other than XAMP, perhaps something native to Windows 7. What are my options?
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Morgan FinleyAsked:
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GaryCommented:
Native to windows - IIS
You would be better sticking with XAMPP - it's likely you are hosting these on a Linux server and XAMPP gives you a similar environment to develop in.
Morgan FinleyAuthor Commented:
I am hosting on Linux servers, and I really like XAMPP. This is more of a curiosity question, as I'd like to try some other environments to see what they have to offer. I plan to continue using XAMPP unless I find something else to be compelling.

So I guess my question has a second part, which is: What other toys are in the sandbox to play with?
GaryCommented:
You only have IIS with PHP on windows - there is nothing else native
There is also WAMP but it's the same as XAMPP (and a few others) - these are just GUI's for the installers and a simple admin interface.
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Morgan FinleyAuthor Commented:
I understand your last comment about these just being GUI's, and I think I should have worded the question differently. I didn't really mean native in the sense you're thinking, and that's my mistake. I'm just curious what other GUI's (aside from XAMPP and WAMP) are out there, and if any of them have special features or differences than those two.
GaryCommented:
No difference between any of them - they all just install Apache, PHP & MySQL as the default, XAMPP for example will install other things like Perl, Sendmail, FTP etc - no biggie if you don't use them
None of them do anything different - the core of the installs is the same. The GUI serves one purpose to easily install the software and give an easy way to start/stop services, easy links to the conf files.
I prefer XAMPP, cannot remember why I disliked WAMP (maybe something to do with it's GUI)
GaryCommented:
XAMPP and WAMP are the main ones - just did a look online and there is still a 50% split between who prefers which, an argument with no winners.

There is also these but never used them.
http://www.uniformserver.com/
and
http://www.easyphp.org/
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
The only one Gary hasn't touched on would be the Bitnami stack:

https://bitnami.com/stack/wordpress/installer

But that's serious "training wheels" territory.  Better to use WAMP or XAMPP if you are learning how to do this for real.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I recommend XAMPP and WAMP on Windows also.  We have had some pretty difficult questions from people using other 'development' packages.  I do have Wordpress running on IIS but there are some things I would not be able to do like 'rewrite' and anything else involving 'htaccess' that you would use on a Linux/Apache server.  I also have Ubuntu Linux machines that I can use for things that require Linux.

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Morgan FinleyAuthor Commented:
This was the most helpful answer because you didn't assume that I'm a newbie ( I've worked with MAMP for many years, as I said in my original question), and because you gave me the feedback I was looking for about alternatives to WAMP and XAMPP. Thanks!
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