What to expect from Eric Schmidt, Google's CEO joining the board of Apple Computer? Not much.
It certainly doesn't mean that Mr Schmidt will help bring about a Sun Microsystems and Apple merger, as John Dvorak speculates on MarketWatch. And it doesn't signify an Apple-Google alliance against Microsoft as GigaOm and others, have speculated.
BTW, it would be very unethical to bring in a director onto the board to facilitate an M&A deal.
And as for an anti-MSFT alliance, that isn't the case either. Mr Schmidt has already been there, and got his head (and backside) handed back to him during his nearly five years as CEO of Novell.
GOOG doesn't need to engage MSFT anyway, the market will take care of MSFT. And as for MSFT's bid for iPod glory with its Zune music player? Again, what would Mr Schmidt bring to Apple?
Apple has nothing to worry about because Zune will initially be competing against MP3 players from loyal Microsoft music player partners. The iPod/iTunes combo would need to slide a long way down the hill to meet a Zune challenge.
All this appointment means is nothing much. CEOs of large companies spend time on the boards of other large companies--that's all there is to this.
A more interesting question might be in examining Mr Schmidt's track record as a CEO at Novell, and at Google. Let me know if you'd like to join me in exploring this question for a future post... :-)