Time to dig into Windows 7 Home Edition, the use of http.sys, and the default web site. The what? That's right Win 7 has a default web site. Obvious question: Is this a security issue on top of getting in the way of XAMPP.
Here the page source that was served when I'm using IE 9.0.8112.16421 I entered in the address localhost[Enter]
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<META content="text/html; charset=windows-1252" http-equiv=Content-Type></HEAD>
Question: Where did that come from? I'm now looking for the answer.
Rally around the flag, XAMPP.