I know I'll get booed for this, but why use Linux at all? Apache, PHP and MySQL are all available for Windows, and run on any version. I use a Linux distro for my firewalls, but Windows for everything else, including two internal web servers, two mail servers and multiple file servers. Yeah, you can do the same thing with less hardware with Linux, and it's probably a bit more stable, plus less work to keep up to date, but if you know Windows, and don't know Linux, you're better off staying with Windows. You don't really need that much more hardare, mostly RAM, and that's not that expensive these days, and you'll be more secure and stable with an OS you know than something brand new. Plus, it's more likely to work.
(As a side note, I'd be very, very cautious about using XAMPP. It's not intended for a production environment, and it installs in a very insecure state. Plus, last I checked, they were pretty slow about adding new versions of stuff to their package, so things tended to be out of date. You can get all the components - Apache, MysQL, PHP, for free, direct, at the current version, from the people who make them. And while Mercury is a fine mail server, it tends to be updated slowly. Even if you go with XAMPP, use hmailserver for your email instead.)