The new "Follow" feature will be offered as an RSVP option alongside the usual Accept/Tentative/Decline choices, but is geared more towards those people who might simply just be too busy to attend a call.
Instead, the new option will allow the user to receive information about what happens on the call, although exactly what this entails still isn't 100% clear just yet.
Microsoft Outlook "Follow"
The news of "Follow" was revealed in a new post on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, where it was described as, "the ideal RSVP option for meetings you can't attend but still want to stay engaged and receive info about."
To us, this suggests that users selecting this option will initially be able to see who is attending a meeting, where it is taking place, and for how long. Following the call or meeting, they will probably receive some kind of summary, including action points and details of any follow-up meetings being scheduled - all aimed at keeping them in the loop with the action.
Microsoft hasn't actually described what will be included in the new "Follow" tool, which is also described as being "geared towards individuals with high meeting loads and conflicting meetings each day."
It did add that other attendees of a meeting will be able to see if anyone is using the follow function, suggesting this could be a good option for those workers looking to stay extra engaged or keeping their nose in with the juiciest work gossip.
Set for an expected rollout in March 2024, the tool will initially be available to Outlook users across Windows desktop and web platforms, or as Microsoft calls them, "new Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web."
The update is the latest new feature to come to Outlook in recent months, after the email service launched an update that removes the annoying limit on attachment sizes when sending a message.
Instead, when attaching a large file that may exceed the maximum size limit, Outlook will now work together with Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage platform to make sure the process runs smoothly
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.