Microsoft is a software and services company and what better to evolve those services than automation. Both in the consumer and business fields that Microsoft plays in, automating user tasks saves time and money and generally results in massive good will from your users.
Recently we’ve seen Microsoft venture into this market with two significant products. First came Flow, which comes with the tag line ‘Created automated workflows between your favourite apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and more’.
Now we have Conditional Action Programmer (CAP) which ‘makes your life easier, simplifying repetitive actions you perform by automatically processing if/then style tasks on your behalf.
CAP currently supports Date/Time, Email, Facebook, RSS, HTTP, Office 365 (email), OneDrive for Business, Pocket, SMS, Stocks, Weather.
Once such service that has capitalised on this notion of connecting and automated otherwise cumbersome and manual processes is IFTTT (If this, then that). They’ve done the best job of many automation services that have attempted to bridge the gap between device manufacturers, service providers and once configured has billions of digital tasks transacting every day, without users lifting a finger. It now supports 328 services, it allows users to combine features from different products in a way that’s so simple, your parents could setup a home automation solution.
While Flow is a little more business orientated and cap being more natural language focused, both services really need to be part of Cortana and add natural language, both verbal and textual inputs. With one of Windows 10’s key features being Cortana, this platform should be available everywhere Cortana is, including your Xbox.
Microsoft, please do the right thing and acquire IFTTT already.