Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the IT world has lately been under a little more deadline pressure than usual. Then again, many of us are facing two deadlines right now that may explain my sense of urgency.

What are the deadlines of which I speak? You’ve probably heard of the first one already. Due to an edict from Microsoft, major computer vendors will no longer sell Windows XP on their PCs starting on June 30. This means your company has 11 days to stock up on any PCs that come preloaded with the operating system. After June 30, the only way you can get Windows XP from the majors (such as HP, Dell, and Lenovo) is by purchasing a system that is preloaded with Windows Vista Business or Ultimate. These Vista versions include the right to “downgrade” (quotes are mine and yes…they mean what they intend) to XP. If you have any responsibility for your company’s PC purchases, take note and act accordingly.

Here’s the second deadline…and this one is more pressing and probably more important for many of you. If you want to participate in beta tests for EnterpriseOne Tools 8.98, you must submit an application to Nancy Van Inwegen by this Friday. The upcoming Tools release will feature enhancements in areas such as batch process management, security, and the overall usability of the web interface. To learn more, check out the EnterpriseOne Tools 8.98 Beta Testing Program Information document. Don’t miss the opportunity!

Over the last several weeks, Microsoft has made two surprising announcements that could have a significant impact on JD Edwards professionals. Because of these announcements, it won’t be long before many of us are considering new options for integrating JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and World with our Microsoft applications.

Microsoft’s first announcement hit the wires in late February when the company declared that it is dramatically expanding the ability of its products to interoperate and share data with other software. The vendor is posting around 30,000 pages of documentation on its MSDN web site that describes the APIs and protocols used to access its high-volume products. These products include Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2007. Developers can use these APIs without license or royalty fees as long as the applications that use them are for non-commercial use.