Make of it what you will (and you will), but Steve Jobs is clearly taking his leave of absence seriously—he's missing Apple's annual meeting for the very first time since returning to Apple over 10 years ago.

Obviously, many of the questions that shareholders will be slinging at Apple's executives on Wednesday, when the meeting takes place, pretty much write themselves, particularly given Steve's absence. At the meeting, shareholders will vote on whether to re-elect directors of the board to one-year terms—Al Gore, Google's Steve Schmidt and Steve himself, among others.

Steve Jobs has also not been spotted on IM for weeks, or so says a friend of Robert X. Cringely's. Maybe it's because the iPhone doesn't have a very good AIM client yet. [Bloomberg]