I’ve decided to try using some of the new PHP 5.4 features after hearing a talk from Lorna Mitchell on features you will use, http://www.lornajane.net/resource/the-php-5-4-features-you-will-actually-use now I’ve had a few problems getting PHP to start on my Windows laptop so this is a quick “help” to fix it, it worked for me, it might help you.
PHP 5.4 on Windows, no longer has an installer and as such there is no automated requirements checking, nor does the PHP windows site list anything.
When it came to running PHP, I got a random error “The system cannot execute the specified program”, first off I tried downloading again and checking the obvious, turns out you need certain dependencies.
To start the PHP binary, you may need to manually install the Visual Studio C++ 2008 runtime, this can be downloaded from Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=5582
Hopefully this will help someone else 🙂