It wasn't too long ago that Microsoft introduced Flow, it's IFTTT and Zapier automated processes services. Flow is aimed squarely at the enterprise and focuses on Microsoft's own services, making it less attractive overall to the typical consumer looking to improve their productivity. Apparently, the Microsoft Research team is addressing that disparity with a new service, Conditional Action Programmer, or CAP for short.
CAP is an experimental service that's intended to be more conversation than the alternatives, and indeed one purpose of the new service is to help machine's become more conversational:
First let's agree….. worst name ever. Now that we're past that, here's our story, and an ask. CAP is an experimental project from Microsoft Technology and Research, available to you as and Android app on Google Play Store and the web. We need your help to continue to improve natural language understanding. You can help us and benefit from automatic task completion at the same time by using CAP!
Rather than going through IFTTT "recipes," for example, which entails a more programmatic approach, CAP wants you to simply type in what you want the service to do.
So far, the list of supported services is small, but certainly the Microsoft Research team intends to beef it up. For now, look at CAP more as an experiment in using natural language commands to automate a process rather than selecting a replacement for IFTTT, Zapier, or Flow.
Get started with CAP by going here. Then, let us know in the comments what you think of the new service.