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Steve Jobs has returned to work a full day before Apple's oft-promised "end of June" deadline.

Jobs, though, is not back in a full-time capacity. Apple chief executive and co-founder will instead be a part-timer until further notice. The company refused to say how many days a week Jobs will be putting in.

Heck - Apple’s just pleased to have him back. “We’re very glad to have him back,” Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling was reported to have said.

We’re not surprised given the massive negative signal that would have resulted should his leave of absence - which started in January - have gone past the June deadline. Many doubted Jobs would return to Apple, so there would have been inevitable questions over the real state of Jobs' health, the future for Apple without him given the central part he plays in product development, and who would - or could - succeed him.

Summing that, up, one venture capitalist told the NY Times: “The entire Valley is happy to see that he is back… Certainly many of us had our doubts.”

It’s certainly an amazing recovery for an individual whose privacy on health matters Apple has been guarding as jealously as if it were one of its new products.

During his time off, Jobs underwent a liver transplant, a major procedure that has such a huge waiting list in the US it’s usually only reserved for patients who are critically ill. Most people spend months on a waiting list waiting for a replacement live, with Jobs yielding to the knife during a six-month window. ®

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