What are some alternatives?
When comparing AutoIt and Cygwin, you can also consider the following products
AutoHotkey - Free keyboard macro program. Supports hotkeys for keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Can expand abbreviations as you type them (AutoText).
PuTTY - Popular free terminal application. Mostly used as an SSH client.
Sikuli - Sikuli Script
ConEmu - ConEmu-Maximus5 is a full-featured local terminal for Windows devs, admins and users. Get better console window with tabs, splits, Quake style, copy+paste, DosBox and PuTTY integration, and much more.
TinyTask - TinyTask provides quick and easy automation by recording-playback.
Listary - Listary is a revolutionary search utility for Windows