Outlook 365 for Windows is getting a Notifications pane which lets you know about @mentions of you in emails or documents plus some other timely alerts. It’s already in the browser based Outlook.
Notifications are mainly aimed at letting you know when you’re @mentioned in emails or documents within your organization.
Notifications aren’t new, they are already in the browser version of Outlook for Microsoft hosted mailboxes, including Outlook.com. Look for the ‘bell’ icon at top right. Click on Customize to see the Notification options available.
- Email @ mentions
- Document @ mentions
Notifications remain on the pane for 30 days before disappearing.
When a new notification arrives, the bell icon gets a little red flag.
Dismiss All (top right of the Notifications pane) clears the list.
Disable the Notifications Pane
To stop the Notifications Pane go to Customize and turn off all the options. There’s no
‘Turn off all’ button.
According to Microsoft the new pane ‘Helps you stay on task”. A typical bit of marketing phrasing that means nothing.
Reminders vs Notifications
We’re not entirely convinced that a separate Notifications pane is a good move. There’s already a Reminders popup dialog for event reminders, follow-up items etc. Now there are two separate ‘alerts’ features in Outlook – Reminders and Notifications – a distinction that, for most people, will make little sense.
Who gets it?
For the moment, Notifications only appears for Enterprise customers. It’s promised for consumer Office users at some future time, until then there’s a greyed-out ‘Bell’ button at top-right of Outlook 365 title bar.
According to Microsoft, Notifications is in Office 365 Insiders beta release v2208 build 15408.10000 and later.
They do NOT say, but it seems likely, that Notifications only work with a Microsoft hosted mailbox.