Getting Started with MPLAB
MPLAB is the programming environment used to write code for PIC microcontrollers. It is provided for free from Microchip.
Download and install (by running setup.exe) MPLAB IDE v8.xx in the default location. This will also create an MPLAB IDE icon on your desktop. Do not bother to install Hitech-C when asked. You can delete the downloaded .zip file after installation. If you already have an old version of MPLAB, this new installation will overwrite the old version.
To complete the Microchip software installation, download and install the C Compiler for PIC32. While MPLAB is free, the full version of the C32 Compiler is not. When you click on "MPLAB C Compiler for PIC32 in LITE Mode" you will be asked to register with Microchip. Do so and then you will be allowed to download and install the free academic version (LITE) of the Compiler.