In a complete surprise, Diablo 3 is revamping Followers next patch:
Follower System Revamp: The Follower system for Diablo III has been revamped and will be made permanently available for Seasonal and Non-Seasonal play! Players can now equip Followers with a total of 14 different item slots which include the Follower Relic Item, Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, 2 Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand weapon, and off-hand. We're introducing a new Follower feature into Diablo III called Emanate, which allows the player to gain the intended effect of certain Legendary Powers and Set Bonuses when equipped on the hired Follower.
It's a pretty big buff to solo play, as well as getting a lot of use out of secondary or utility items. Blizzard is also revamping many of the Follower abilities.
As someone who plays D3 solo, I'm quite looking forward to the next patch. The only real issue remaining with followers is that it is difficult to use a follower with a different main stat than yours. D3 loot revamp meant that if you're a Strength class, most of the loot that drops for you is Strength. Personally, I like using a follower which is different, like Crusader + Enchantress, so gearing them well is always a pain.
The most amusing thing about this change is how it took the forums completely by surprise. It's a bigger change than expected for such an old game with 2 new entries on the horizon.