Microsoft Office Labs has released a prototype plug-in for Outlook that pauses incoming mails and rates them according to importance.
Email Prioritizer, which will only work on the PC version of Outlook 2007, was unveiled on Monday. The client-side plug-in can be downloaded directly from the Office Labs website.
The plug-in provides a 'do not disturb' button that can be set to a certain amount of time or according to a meeting schedule. It also allows the rating of emails according to a three-star system — the rules for this system can be based on the importance of the sender, or on other factors such as the number of people the email was sent to.
Because it is an experimental tool, Email Prioritizer does not currently enjoy Microsoft support. However, there is a discussion page on the Office Labs website dedicated to the project.