Anyone entering the programming industry at this point in time will be spoilt for choice. There are a whole host of Operating Systems & machines available. The choice caters to all budgets, backgrounds & likes. There is a huge choice in programming languages too. Although some programming languages like C# & Objective-C force users to pick the OS. Others like C,C++,Java don’t place such constraints on the users.
Now there are many rankings available for which programming language is the best. Here are a few links for the same:
The fact that C & C++ are still extremely popular would surprise a lot people. The fact is that a lot of languages that came after these 2 still derive many concepts & features from C & C++. They are must know languages for anyone venturing into the world of programming. Once a person learns these 2 languages it is very easy to branch out & leaner virtually any other language.
Other than C & C++ the other language that is most popular is Java. A lot of people like Java because of the platform independence that it offers. C & C++ are not platform independent. However, they are cross platform languages. Which means that you can develop applications using C & C++ on virtually any OS.
A list of major applications that use C++: http://www.mycplus.com/featured-articles/top-10-applications-written-in-c-cplusplus/
At the end of the day, the decision as to which language is good for developing applications depends on a lot of factors. Discarding C++ early on is not a wise choice. Simply because it is very relevant even today. It has a large set of libraries & is thoroughly time tested.
Bottom line: Do consider using C++, its a highly relevant language & a good place to start your programming career or to make a career out of.