Described is a schema-based notification platform that provides regularized notification handling including user control and normalization of the operation of policies across different information types and contexts. Information-service schemas and services are combined to build a content-sensitive and context-sensitive information service to communicate information to recipient devices of users that subscribe to those services. An information agent service collects the information, and based on various criteria, determines if, when, and how to send and render the information, and to which subscribing client device or devices. The set of schemas include a notification schema that represents the subscription of a service to an information source and details about that information, and a device schema that represents information about user devices. The information agent service accesses criteria including user preferences and user contextual information, including presence information, location information, and schedule information along with people and groups data and extended-context data. Preferences about subscriptions and information handling policies may be stored and used at notification sources or in more central preference encodings. Access to multiple preferences is maintained, and a user interface is provided that allows users to inspect and control multiple subscriptions in one conceptual place.