Microsoft began work in 1993 on Lumiere, its project to create software that could automatically and intelligently interact with software users by anticipating the goals and needs of these users.
This research was in turn based on earlier research on pilot-aircraft interaction. The concern of this investigation was the ability of a system to supply a pilot with information congruent with the pilot's current focus of attention. Extraneous information or information not related to the pilot's current task list was suppressed.
"This ability to identify a pilot's focus of attention at any moment during a flight can provide an essential link to the provision of effective decision support. In particular, understanding the current goals of a pilot decision maker can be applied to select the presentation of alternative systems and displays."
The Lumiere project at Microsoft eventually resulted in the "Office Assistant" with the introduction of the Office 95 suite of desktop products.