The Steve Jobs resignation unleashed an avalanche of opinion and commentary when it hit the news last night. While his medical issues and leave status made it somewhat inevitable, many people were still taken by surprise at the announcement. Whatever your opinion of Apple and Jobs’ leadership, you can’t deny his tremendous influence on the tech industry. But many people are wondering how the Apple brand — and it’s success — will be affected by the loss of such a strong presence at the helm.

TR members commenting on the story on TechRepublic’s Facebook page last night brought their own speculation and sentiment to the news:

Scot Rutherford: Of course he’ll stay as Chairman. It’s a natural progression and he is likely pretty damn tired after turning half the planet into early tech adopters.

Gordan Kustic: right, it was his time, and he did a great job. World is not the same without Apple Inc., I have faith that their products will continue to push the limits…

Khamis M. Mustafa: This is inevitable. Though not the perfect replacement, hope Tim will be able to carry them along as one best tech company in the world. Many will see this as apple era coming to an end and yet a chance for MS/Nokia and of course the close competitor Samsung.

Ron Koski: Maybe now some Apple apps. will become compatible with Windows products. I can wish, can’t I?

Shamveel Quraishi: Bring back Woz! Tim who?

Having now had a little more time to read about Tim Cook and take a peek at what the business analysts are saying about the move, where do you think Apple goes from here?

See Jason Hiner’s take, “Five ways Apple will never be the same without Jobs as CEO,” and check out this sampling of the commentary from around CBSInteractive: