Joomla Michigan was created using Joomla 3.03. While trying to migrate off of my development environment to production, I encountered something I'd not forseen happening.
Apparently, Joomla 3+ requires Magic Quotes (it's a server setting) to be turned off before installing. If they're on, you have to turn them off to get to the next install step.
Here's how to turn Magic Quotes Off for Joomla 3 and later
First, open up notepad or similar editor (I was using Sublime 2). create a document with the two lines below and save as php.ini.
magic_quotes_gpc = Off
session.save_path = "/tmp"
Now you will want to FTP it to your webserver in the public_html/installation folder, or whereever your installation folder resides.
Retry your installation and you'll be able to fully install that awesome Joomla 3+