Visual Studio is Microsoft’s platform for programming on the Windows platform. Most programs that run on Windows has been developed using the platform. There are a few programming languages you can use with Visual Studio: C#, C++, Visual Basic and F#. Visual Studio isn’t cheap, but it is very powerful.
Visual Studio can be used both to compile programs and build powerful web applications. These of course run on Windows servers not Linux ones.
C# (It’s pronounced: c sharp)
C# is the most popular of the Visual Studio programming languages. The language is simple, modern, general purpose and object oriented.
C++, like C# and PHP is based on the C programming language. Because it's easy to transition to other C based languages and there are many compilers on different platforms for C++, it is a popular programming language with teachers. Most of the larger PC games are programmed using C++.
C++ is a free-form, statically typed, multi-paradigm, general-purpose programming language. Because it combines high and low level language features C++ is considered an intermediate-level language. The languages was originally developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979 at Bell Labs.
Visual Basic is one of the easier languages to learn, it allows you to rapidly develop graphic user interface applications. Compared to C++, I would say it is more powerful, but you have less control. Visual Basic is of course owned by Microsoft. The language is popular in the financial services sector.
It is also used in applications outside websites, such as PDF documents and desktop widgets. Design changes in the language has made it faster, causing it to be more popular in the development of web applications.
PHP is a server-side scripting language. That means the script gets processed on the server and the results appear on your browser as html.
Python is designed to be a more easily readable. The visual layout is uncluttered, English keywords are used where other languages use punctuation. The evolutionary growth of the language is driven by input from Python's user community. Python uses white space instead of curly brackets to delimit blocks. Visual Basic programmers will be more comfortable with Python than say C++ programmers.
Java is a C based language. Compared to C++ it has a simpler syntax. The language has a large amount of mostly well written libraries.
F# is a younger language and therefor may still suffer from some teething problems. F# let's you evaluate blocks of code without compiling the whole project. The idea being to reduce development time.
Perl is popular with veteran programmers that picked it up in the 1990s. It offers great text processing and system administration. The main problem with the language is it's syntaxes.
Ruby is one of the most object oriented languages. I would say it runs a bit slower than most languages, but offers a great deal of flexibility. It is also a fairly simple language to learn and use.
It is difficult to recommend one language over another, because they each have strengths and weaknesses. But let's say you are just starting out and you need a recommendation as to which language to start with. I would recommend starting with a C based language like Java, C++ or C#. Because there are many C based languages and once you know one it's easy to change over. You should also learn SQL so your programs can access data in a databases. Personally I started with C++.