|History of C++ Programming Language popularity from TIOBE Software|
Combine that with the slowness in language improvements (8 years between new versions), high complexity (which pushed new programmers towards easier, "managed" languages like C# and Java) and Microsoft pushing .Net everyone.
Things did not bode well for C++.
However, 2012 (and beginning of 2013) seem to be a turn point.
The new standard, C++ 11 is finally coming out, adding many long awaited updated to the language. And while it was supported by linux compilers for a while now, VS2012 added support and shortcuts specifically for C++11 (BTW, if you want to know if your compiler supports C++11 you can look here). Add the content improvement of Qt which seems to bring a polished look applications, ease of use cross-platform development and a sweet IDE to C++ and you've got excellent progress!
In addition, Microsoft seems to have given C++ a greater significance in Win8 (I can't find the link I was looking for about the benefits Win8 offers C++ devs, but this discussion is not a bad choice either).
Last but not least, Ubuntu has unveiled this week its planned phone OS which provides a C++ framework for development (just like Java for Android and Objective-C for iOS).
And it gets even better! Ubuntu has already released an SDK and and easy to follow instruction set how to create applications for the new OS! Unlike Google's SDK which takes you forever to install and configure. This one a few minutes to to setup and your first tutorial application can be ready to show in less then an hour.
The SDK creates stunningly beautiful UI based on it's toolset, leaving your mind to worry about other things.
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Since mobile is where the world is going, I certainly hopes this is the return of a of interest and progress into C++.
Look at this, all this post without saying anything about the the Ubuntu OS itself with its very interesting concept of one device to rule them all.