paulflexes saidManual settings on point-n-shoot cameras, and "Auto" mode on DSLR cameras.
Makes no sense to me.
Oh, that's an easy one, having been into photography for many years. Manual is needed on point-n-shoots for situations that would confuse their automatic programming and focusing. Taking a photo through a window is just one example of a situation that amateurs do all the time.
Many automatic cameras will try to focus on and read the window surface for the exposure, instead of the scene beyond it. So that feature needs to be disabled.
On the other hand, offering pro cameras with auto settings options increases the number of people who will buy these top-end cameras, adding to manufacturer profit. Plus even pros will take advantage of auto settings in impromptu settings.
Years ago, when everything was manual, we used to pre-set the exposure & focus for the most likely situation we might encounter. I'd walk around Manhattan, for instance, with my 35mm Leica tucked discreetly under my arm, and bring it up quickly for a candid without pausing to recheck all its settings. The Automatic function serves the same purpose today, when you haven't got the time to fuss with settings.