The message center has an option to set alerts for the current user. These alerts will cause pop-up windows to display in the bottom right corner of the screen showing the counters the user currently has active.
To set an alert, click the Message Center Icon at the bottom right of the Start Page. From there:
Navigate to the Alert Setup tab.
To display alerts, select the Show Alert checkbox.
Select a value for the alerts to display from the Alert Interval.