What are some alternatives?
When comparing Cygwin and AutoIt, you can also consider the following products
PuTTY - Popular free terminal application. Mostly used as an SSH client.
AutoHotkey - Free keyboard macro program. Supports hotkeys for keyboard, mouse, and joystick. Can expand abbreviations as you type them (AutoText).
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.
Sikuli - Sikuli Script
MobaXterm - MobaXterm is a software that uses a set of optimized network tools included in a single exe file. MobaXterm integrates several network clients with an X server, and also integrates a full set of Unix based commands. Read more about MobaXterm.
TinyTask - TinyTask provides quick and easy automation by recording-playback.