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New ‘Follow’ option is really a bad sign for Outlook customers

In 2024 there’ll be a good addition to some versions of Outlook called ‘Follow’ but it’s also bad news for everyone using the current Outlook for Windows.

The addition is ‘Follow’ that will appear for invitations to Teams online meeting.

Source of all images: Microsoft

Follow is slated for release in five months, March 2024 according to Microsoft’s Roadmap. Normally we’d not talk about a feature until we can test it for ourselves but Microsoft has started talking about ‘Follow’ now as if it’s already available.

It’s also a sign that Microsoft has effectively dropped any pretense of supporting Outlook desktop for Windows or Mac.  Follow will be limited to the new (incomplete) Outlook for Windows web app or Outlook on the web.

Follow is a new type of RSVP

Follow will be a new form of RSVP that’s sent to the meeting organizer with a reminder that there are others who’ll be catching up on the discussion. 

Microsoft says it’s “for meetings you can’t attend but still want to stay engaged and receive info about.”

When the Teams meeting happens, there’s a notice that others will be lurking afterwards.

When the meeting is over there’s a delay while Copilot transcribes and summarizes the content including human made notes. When it’s ready a little Recap’ icon will appear next to the meeting in your calendar.

That opens a meeting recap with the recording on left with a timeline for each speaker. The center and right sides have Copilot content.

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