"Why constantly check e-mail when you can get a text message when anyone important e-mails you..."
Actually, I receive a push notification whenever I receive an email. I'd hate to receive SMS messages instead of e-mails.
"Say someone tweets something about your company. Set up a flow that follows them, sends a nice reply, adds him to a spreadsheet which then gets sent to Salesforce".
Yeah, so someone tweets "YourCompany fucking sucks!" and now the flow automatically follows him, sends a ridiculous "nice reply" and adds an obviously unsatisfied customer (or whatever) to the CRM..
"Working smarter, so you can work less and do more",
I think I've heard this promise a thousand times before.
I don't know about the Flow service, but the ad video is quite dumb and uninspired, just like the background music.. who composes all these identical tech ad songs ?
There's too much great software and not enough head space to fit it all in.
This proliferation of tools and services hasn't achieved the proverbial "work less do more" which all of them promise.
They are necessary in order to deal with the increased complexity of technology (and our lives), but the catch is - once we integrate them into our work(life)flow, we add another layer of complexity and hence give up even more control to third parties.
I guess this is why Flow has been created, but the catch is the same - once you integrate it, you add another layer of tweaking and twiddling until it all becomes a monster with a life of its own.
There was an article here on HN yesterday - 'you probably don't need any js lib for your project' and I totally agree with the author.
We can live without layers upon layers of complexity, albeit with a bit more 'manual' work - we have to reduce it rather than try to build meta layers on top of existing ones.
Sorry for the gloomy mood, I guess it's the weather.
'you probably don't need any js lib for your project' is true, but 'I can probably use modern JS libs to write a competitor 5x faster than your from-scratch project, assuming it's at least moderately complex' is also true.
Theres a lot of tech which we are none the worse off for ignoring. The more curmudgeonly of us eventually figure out what is actually going to move the needle and what isn't.
And as a simple rule - nothing will make your life less difficult, it will only give you more spare time which will then be absorbed into work - or your job is redundant.
hmm, maybe it is the weather.
Microsoft Songsmith. 
It's called "Forced Fun."
No one would ever use twitter solely for that purpose...surely...
Ad composers with a production note: "Make it bland and copying for the Nth time, 2010-era Apple video music".
And stock music services, like this: https://www.musicbed.com/
Hardly something to write home about for "working smarter" in general.
However, the examples used in this video are awful for the reasons you outlined. Plus, there's already good software solutions for email management and social media monitoring.
I think this ad is pretty bad, but the actual product could revolutionize workflow in many business functions.
Perhaps in the same space, but that's a very specific sub-niche. This new offering looks more like an actual competitor.
I don't believe this is intended to be a consumer level product at all. In that sense, it's not an IFTTT competitor. Given it's got implementation points to Sql Azure, Azure Blob storage, swagger, etc. this is likely meant as a product for devs to use to hook-up integrations.
Following on the heels of this will be Azure's Functions (Serverless/Lambda) architecture, which will overlap some things here (for devs).
Logic Apps and Flow are done by the same team, actually, so that's no surprise. Logic Apps is for "Azure" users, which is mostly IT Pros and Dev. Flow is intended to compliment Power Apps. They can both be built by users aren't necessarily pro devs, but can use a drag-n-drop interface for configuring things.
Functions are code driven by events. Logic Apps are workflow driven by events. You can actually use the two together, which makes for some cool scenarios.
I'm in the Bizspark++ Program -- and I've had a blast playing and learning with all of the Azure products -- and I'm really looking forward to seeing improvements on Python and Bash functions.
Keep it up, I'll be stalking your documentation updates :-)
You can pre check an email with their embedded ajax call:
If the JSON comes back with "consumerDomain":true, then it won't allow the signup.
They don't seem to be catching all free email services. At the moment, it appears you could sign up for a free Yandex email and get signed up for Flow:
Logic Apps is offered as part of Azure and is targeted at developers and IT shops. Logic Apps are much more about heavy weight integration (e.g. business-to-business communications, back-office connectivity to SAP), akin to Biztalk. Details here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/app...
On the other hand, Flow is aimed at business end users with light weight connectivity / automation needs (e.g. the examples in the video on the home page). It does not have support for a lot of things devs or IT need, like source control, monitoring, scripting, etc.
Disclaimer: did dev work for both. Hope that helps!
I uploaded some screen shots showing the available services/integrations:
Dev B: "What about Skype? It's one of our products."
Dev A: "I don't care, I only use Slack. Screw our users, right?"
Dev B: "What about Skype for Business? People actually pay for that."
Dev A: "Nah, Wunderlist is much more important. Much."
I bet these guys just let it drop in order to get their product released.
Skype For Business / Lync is a total nightmare of enterprisey permission models, yeah.
Also, it is possible to register your own REST APIs and share them with others in your organization.
Within Microsoft, we have a lot of internal custom APIs registered to light up some interesting automations / flows. Details here: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorials/register-cus...
Disclaimer: am a dev on the team
Could have been a killer app for Gnome, but Gnome decided that redesigning the notifications area and the clock was more important.
Better title: "Microsoft Flow: Automation Workflow and Task automation"
This said, they completely ignored Skype, so...
I do love how clued in MSFT is these days. Really raises the bar for everyone.
I tried, but it keeps overflowing the data type.
Edit: There are actually 31 services: http://imgur.com/a/NR7Af
This opinion may be controversial to many, but it is what a lot of people are thinking. They experiment, which is phenomenal. But none of those experiments have been a major hit.
Apple has flagship products like the iPhone, etc. Google has search, Android, and even Youtube at the center of its existence. A fallback option, if you please.
Mircosoft "somewhat" has Windows, but hasn't really nailed it yet. These "experiments" will not bring back the glory days.
I've excitedly watched what Apple has done in the last 10 years (and exclusively use Apple devices in my home, and have convinced many family members to switch).
But as a technologist who likes to see companies with great resources move fast, to me MS has been much more exciting lately as a tech company than Apple.
We are seeing the manifestation of the new Satya Nadella decree, which went from "prop up Windows at any cost" to just "build stuff people like."
We're constantly seeing these kinds of things come out of MS now, and I can't help but see that it must be a really exciting time to be an MS employee right now, judging by the sheer amount of experimentation going on.
Well, I agree with the last sentence. Satya Nadella was the much needed U-turn from the Balmer era. It's just that by the standards Microsoft has set for itself, they've under-performed over the years. I'm talking about major failed experiments like Windows Vista, Lumia (or even the entire Nokia acquisition)
Microsoft without the dead-weight of having to support failed tech — Now that is a place I would like to work.
Edit: Do you think that Microsoft is actively taking steps in trying to do away with supporting things like Vista, etc?
This isnt to be negative on Apple, just saying they are a great quality, style, design company. and an amazing financial success but they havent been innovative for quite some time.
A push for (at least some form of) open-source, a Windows offering that has been more stable and feature-added at launch than several past versions.
I'd gamble on more innovation out of Microsoft than Apple in the next 10 years.
Pretty sure they're doing okay in enterprise office software
You're correct, some of the Microsoft experiments have failed but you need to balance that with the ones that are doing well such as Office365 and Azure.
I know the popularity of bashing MS hasn't waned. Maybe it's even deserved. But how's it relevant to this post?