On the Apple Macintosh, the AppleScript operating system extension has provided a way for applications to exploit AppleEvents and execute script-based control over one another.
On Windows, Microsoft introduced Windows Script Host (WSH), which provides a script-driven interface to the underlying COM model. This is a great improvement on the DOS batch commands that were available prior to this. Its still doesn't integrate applications in the way that AppleScript does, instead it integrates data objects with one another, which in some ways may be more powerful as it is a document-centric system. However, it can be difficult to exploit specific capabilities of applications unless they are COM related.
Like AppleEvents, WSH is language independent and you have a choice of languages that you can use for scripting. JScript is becoming more favored lately, although much has been made of VBScript, although it's not as powerful as Visual Basic, on which it is based.