As of this evening, Steve Jobs has resigned his post as CEO of Apple, naming Tim Cook as his successor. This news follows an extended health-related leave of absence that began this past January. Jobs will stay on at Apple as Chairman of the Board.

In a press release, Jobs cited his inability to "meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple's CEO" as the reason for his resignation, but didn't go into any further detail.

As for Tim Cook, he's been running the show since Jobs took his leave of absence, and so the transition should be relatively smooth. Time will tell whether Jobs' final departure will effect the company's long-term health and growth as investors have sometimes feared that it would.

Source: Reuters

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  • prdola0 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    It's not like it wasn't present before. Nobody denies that. It just grew to a massive scale now, and by a huge part thanks to Jobs. I don't really care about Linux or Windows or anything like that. Some of the Apple toys even have good content. However it's only a few of them. And content is not the reason why 99% of Apple customers buy it.

    Jobs is guilty of one of the biggest cultural taste shifts in the last 20 years. And it was not a good one.
  • tim851 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    Do you have any "proof", that things were less superficial in 1996?

    What is a "cultural taste shift" and how has Apple facilitated that thing?

    If you're mad at the world for being superficial, you're a couple of thousand years late.
  • mudgiestylie - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    OK I've been using macs and pcs since i was a little kid. Always found macs to be easier to use than windows boxes, even when macs came in beige. Apple recognized early on that computers were becoming essential parts of our everyday lives, just like the automobile had become decades before. You are saying function is following form with apple and their adherents. I'm saying that everyone before apple was completely forgetting about form, and that form sometimes is part of the function. If this wasn't the case we'd still be using DOS-like command prompts. Another example would be the curves and contours on cars. Yes they look better that way, but it also makes them more aerodynamic. Apple products aren't all about aesthetics, they are about usability... but whats the harm in looking good as well?
  • chemist1 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    I read a lot of comments like the one above -- declaring that what sells Apple products is their superficial looks -- and can only assume they come from someone who does not have a lot of expertise using Apple computers (i..e, the Apple OS) for serious, complex productivity tasks. And it's the Apple OS which is the core of what makes Apple, Apple -- the iPod, iPhone, etc. came later, and built on the design philosophy of their OS's. I have years of experience with various incarnations of both Windows and OSX (and DOS, and one of Apple's older OS's, as well as various flavors of Linux). And I've found that, for serious productivity with office-type tasks, OSX is far superior to Windows. I.e., it's not about form, it's about function. And that's what really sells Apple. For instance, many of you likely don't know this, but one of the professional groups where Apple has gained a significant following is scientists, especially physical scientists (chemists and physicists). In my chemistry dept., Apple is more popular than Windows. And I'd estimate that, at the last APS (American Physical Society) meeting I attended, the breakdown among laptops carried by participants was at least 1/3 Apple (far more than in the general population). As to why Apple is popular among scientists, we can hardly be accused of excessive style-following (just look at how many of us dress!). Of course, we like shiny toys as much as anyone else, but the bottom line for us is we care less about computers than in using them to get our jobs done. And many, including myself, find OSX a far more powerful tool for that purpose than Windows.
    Let me be specific:
    In writing my thesis, I needed to integrate text, tables, equations, vectorized graphics, bibliographic cross-references, etc., into a very large LaTeX document. To do this as efficiently as possible, I needed to be able to rapidly access all needed material as I was typing. This meant having perhaps a dozen windows open, simultaneously, in each of the following programs: Adobe Illustrator, Word, Entourage (my email client), Mathematica, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and Safari (my browser) -- plus a few Windows in each of LaTex, BibDesk, and XCode. This meant nearly 100 windows total. Ever tried to easily keep track of, and move among, 100 different windows in Windows? In OSX, however, it was easy: Using OSX's Spaces, I created four virtual desktops: I. Writing Desktop ( LaTeX, BibDesk, and Word); II. Graphics Desktop (Adobe Illustrator and Acrobat); III. Calculation/Spreadsheet Desktop (Mathematica and Excel); and IV. Internet and Email Search Desktop (Safari and Entourage). Each virtual desktop contained all windows for its assigned programs, and no others. Then within each virtual desktop, I used OSX's Expose to explode all windows for a given program, or all windows in the virtual Desktop. Thus whenever I needed to, say, modify a vectorized graphic in my document, I'd just toggle from Desktop I to Desktop II, click the middle button on my five button mouse (yes, you don't have to use the silly Apple 1-button mouse!) to pull up a dock of the (two) programs open in Desktop II, select Illustrator, move my mouse to the upper right corner to explode all dozen or so graphics I had open in Illustrator, click on the one I wanted, modify and save it, then switch back to Desktop I. There's simply no way to be able to do this with such ease and power in Windows. Thus what Apple supplies, fundamentally, is not style but power -- the power to get things done.

    [There are other reasons physical scientists like OSX that I've not touched upon --- e.g., the fact that it's Unix-based means it offers a native *nix interface, which is very nice for writing code -- but the one I mentioned above is the principal one: it's the ease and elegance of its interface. Many misinterpret "ease" as meaning "for dummies." But this is just ignorance; the harder and more complex your task, the more essential it is to find a system that allows you to operate with ease and efficiency.]
  • prdola0 - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - link

    "In my chemistry dept., Apple is more POPULAR than Windows."

    That's about it. You just let out the real reason. In my entire college "career" I've never used a single Apple scientific product or a product with support for scientific applications. I have used Matlab, Simulink, CAD systems and various other modeling tools. All of them high-value scientific tools. Not a single of them ran on an Apple machine. I have also used many expansion cards for mechanical testing and measuring. None of them ran on an Apple machine. I have worked with and programmed a couple of PLC machines. These were connected to Unix or Windows machines and tools for their programming were used also on Unix or Windows machines.

    You sir, are entirely incorrect.

    "And I've found that, for serious productivity with office-type tasks, OSX is far superior to Windows."

    You have found that. Right. And you have found that for all of us and we must accept it? No. Keep your fallacy for others please. From my experience, people who say that OSX is more productive than Windows just didn't take time to even try it. They say "how do you this thing that easy on Windows?" I show them how to do it. They respond: "Um, maybe. You got lucky. But what about this?" I show it to them again.

    Just because you did not know how to do something effectively on Windows, it does not mean that it's not possible. And it's better than that. It can be much better on Windows.

    As Nick Farrell @ Fudzilla cleverly wrote: "He built a religion where happiness was found by spending huge amounts of dosh on gadgets and attacking other people who did not support your decision." So just because you think, that OSX is better, it doesn't mean, that it really is.
  • chemist1 - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    Your reply makes no sense, seems emotional and angry, misrepresents what I said and, most importantly, does not address the substance of my post.

    In your second paragraph, you mention that you used scientific tools, like Matlab, and "not a single one of them ran on an Apple machine." But Matlab certainly does run on Apple. So I assume what you meant to say is that you yourself never used them on an Apple. But how is this relevant to the subject at hand? After all, I said in my post that, in my dept., more scientists use Apple than Windows. Implicit in this is that some do use Windows. Hence the fact that you used Windows for scientific work is not in any way inconsistent with what I said. My point wasn't that people don't use Windows for science. Rather, it was to respond to your blanket (and, I would say, demeaning) message that Apple (and by extension its users) are more about form than substance.

    In your fifth paragraph, you shrilly take me to task for insisting I'm saying all must accept Apple's superiority, which is simply bizarre. Again, I'm simply countering your strange blanket statement that because of Apple, and its alleged focus away from substance "that we will just decline and other cultures will rise." To do so, I made a detailed argument for how Apple is superior with respect to substance. What's wrong with construction such an argument, particularly given the detail with which I supported it? It's far less presumptuous than the argument you made, about Apple and the decline of civilization!

    But it gets even better. Also in your fifth paragraph, you declaim: " From my experience, people who say that OSX is more productive than Windows just didn't take time to even try it." Yet in your second paragraph, you say that you never used Apple products for science!! By comparison, I was explicit in saying that I had made extensive use of both Apple and Windows products. So you are taking me to task for a certain behavior (criticizing a system without having experience on it) and yet (this is delicious), not only am I not guilty of this behavior but, in addition, you are guilty of it!

    Indeed, several months ago I consulted with two IT professionals, both of whom are a heavy Windows users, about this very issue. And I asked them: Can you do this [what I described in my first post, about how I wrote my thesis] natively in Windows? And both responded "no" -- though one did opine there may be some aftermarket programs that could offer some of these features.

    Finally, and this is the crux of things, you write: "Just because you did not know how to do something effectively on Windows, it does not mean that it's not possible. And it's better than that. It can be much better on Windows." Another non-substantive statement, particularly in the context of the issue under discussion. If you really wanted to have a substantive discussion, you would instead either describe how you can do what I did, in writing my thesis, within Windows -- or acknowledge that you can't.
  • chemist1 - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    Just to clarify one of my statements -- when I wrote:
    "In your fifth paragraph, you shrilly take me to task for insisting I'm saying all must accept Apple's superiority, which is simply bizarre. "
    ---what I meant by "bizarre" is the accusation that I insisted all must accept Apple's superiority. I never said or implied that. What I did say was the following: "I've found that, for serious productivity with office-type tasks, OSX is far superior to Windows." Note that I explicitly began that sentence by saying this was *my* finding. I then went on to support that finding in detail, describing what I was able to do with OSX in writing my thesis. That is the way a rational interchange of ideas is supposed to work, is it not? If you disagree, then explain, in detail, how it could have been done better in Windows.
  • chemist1 - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    ...i.e., please explain how, in Windows, one could keep track of, and navigate among, ~100 windows that were opened simultaneously (across several different programs), more easily and intuitively than one can do it (as I explained) in OSX.
  • chemist1 - Friday, August 26, 2011 - link

    [sorry about all the replies-to-replies, but I wanted to keep this chronological]. One last thing (I hope!) -- a general idea: When you're operating within a given file of a given program (e.g., Word, Mathematica, Adobe Illustrator, whatever), how easy and intuitive things are is principally determined by the design of the program, not the OS -- i.e., you're in the program's world (I say "principally" rather than "entirely" because programs are often OS-influenced). So when do you encounter the OS? Well, it's when you need to navigate between different programs, or between different files of a given program, do file retrieval, etc. I.e., retrieving files and navigating among open program windows is really the *essence* of what an OS does. Hence my example is hardly some strange "edge" case. Rather, it represents a challenging test to determine how powerful, intuitive and intelligent the OS interface is for what is perhaps its most central set of tasks
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - link

    Here's to hoping they continue to push the envelope in terms of product development and innovation, but change up their business practices.

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