With the year's freshman quarter nearly complete, it's time to look ahead to April.

Between the launch of a critical earnings season, a potentially revolutionary product, and an exchange-testing meeting, there will be plenty of notable events in the month ahead.

Here are a few days I plan to greet with eyes wide open next month.

April 3
Unless you've been wearing earplugs and blinders over the past two months, you know that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad hits stores on Saturday. There's been plenty of hype, and backlash to said hype, since the device was first announced.

Critics argue that it's little more than an iPod touch on steroids. Its lack of a camera, Flash support, or even USB ports or memory card slots has turned off some potential buyers. Just as Apple's iPhone has evolved with every annual update, some suggest waiting for the iPad to add those obvious features at potentially lower price points in the future.

I think the product will be more popular than the skeptics think. Once iPads begin popping up in the wild, it will be hard to ignore Apple's new product category, which aims to span the gap between the iPod touch or iPhone and its MacBook line. The gadget may very well revolutionize the living room, the commute, and the print-publishing industry.

Apple isn't perfect, as irrelevant duds like the unfortunate Apple TV make all too clear. However, the iPad is an evolutionary product with Apple's unbeatable App Store in its corner. Did I convince you, or am I simply falling into a wishful-thinking trap, as someone who's already preordered an iPad?

April 16
Fridays are typically sleepy days on Wall Street, but April 16 will find General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) taking the earnings stage.

GE commanded the country's largest market cap a few years ago, and now it's clawing its way back. The same conglomerate that slashed its dividend last year is now hinting at boosting its payout next year. 

Bank of America is one of the first "too big to fail" bankers to report. With banking reform likely to replace health-care reform as the next hot topic in Washington, companies like Bank of America may find themselves in the crosshairs. In a preemptive move, B of A is now offering a more forgiving stance for some underwater homeowners in financial distress.

Both GE and B of A are expected to post lower revenue and earnings than they did during the same quarter a year ago, but their future outlooks will ultimately drive their shares.

April 22
It's fitting that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) should post its fiscal third-quarter results on Earth Day. After all, it's the world's largest software company. However, instead of the usual computer-operating-system and productivity-suite metrics, Steve Ballmer's company has a lot of oars in the water these days.

Between the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, its Project Natal initiative to give the Xbox 360 motion controls and facial recognition, and the huge potential to fill Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) shoes in China, Microsoft has exciting things to watch for later in the year. Investors might be more interested about the future than the three past months. Sure, analysts expect marginal improvement at Mr. Softy, with revenue and earnings pegged to climb a mere 5% and 8%, respectively. However, a few golden oars may go a long way toward picking up the growth rate.

April 29
In an effort to avoid exchange delisting, Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) is meeting with NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ) by month's end to secure an extension in order to get back in compliance.

Sirius XM Radio has failed to close with a bid price greater than $1 over 10 consecutive trading days, violating NASDAQ's minimum share price requirement.

The satellite radio giant has a solution -- a shareholder-approved reverse split -- but Sirius XM is hoping to avoid that possibility. It has voiced its displeasure with NASDAQ's policy, which Sirius says ignores the satellite radio giant's massive market cap and even larger enterprise value.

Can the exchange afford to boot one of its most popular stocks? Sirius XM is likely to win some time in the appeal, though the ultimate victory would involve forcing NASDAQ to update its listing requirements.

Are you circling any particular dates in April for financial news? Share your calendar in the comment box below.

Microsoft and Nasdaq OMX Group are Motley Fool Inside Value choices. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft and has also recommended writing covered calls on Nasdaq OMX Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders why April showers always seem to come during the month of April. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool disclosure policy keeps a calendar handy.