I searched the forums for Windows API tutorials and have found this. Is it necessary to do everything manually like in the tutorial and after getting the hang of it move on to QT or should I jump into QT right now?
Alright, so I would probably skim through the tutorial once.
Also, is QT the way to go, what are other options?
That depends on where you want to go.
If you intend to write only for Windoze, you can write at the API level or you can use the MFC components, and various libraries that support them. If you want to write for multiple platforms (ie., Linux and Mac OS/X) then QT or wxWidgets are popular tools - essentially write once, compile for the various target platforms.
If you intend to write commercial software, be sure to check the licensing - QT can be quite pricey, wxWidgets is not. Visual Studio, cheap to pricey, depending on the suite you get.
Programming at the WinAPI level, you can use any editor/compiler - it's just C/C++.
To echo vmanes, I recommend wxWidgets. It is simpler and easier to use than the WinAPI, and it is portable to other platforms. QT is nice, but there are license fees for use on Window. Also, take a look at GTK+, which is free and supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
The WinAPI is old and very low-level. All of the other toolkits are much higher level, more user friendly, more robust, etc.