Shares of Microsoft have surged nicely thus far in 2014, well ahead of the pace of all U.S. broad market indices -- and for good reason.

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Under the leadership of new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has made a number of moves to arm itself with a strategy for the post-PC era. Case in point: Microsoft's recently launched Surface Pro 3 appears to be a viable competitor to other leading tablets, including the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, and also to lightweight laptops such as Apple's MacBook Air. However, for all the recent positivity, certain key risk factors also remain for potential long-term Microsoft investors in the years ahead.

Microsoft stock: the good, the bad, and the ugly
One caveat, and one of the challenges in sizing up how relatively safe or risky the future appears for Microsoft stock, is that we have to figure out how credible Microsoft's strategy is for pushing its cash-cow Windows operating system into the market for mobile computing. Its Office franchise appears to have successfully made the transition.

And as Microsoft prepares to butt heads with the likes of Apple and Google in other emerging technology paradigms such as smartwatches and the connected home, Microsoft shareholders will need to gain a greater sense of this key question, as tech and telecom specialist Andrew Tonner argues in the following video.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning -- it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee that its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming that its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts that 485 million of these devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and to see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Andrew Tonner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google (A and C shares) and owns shares of Apple, Google (A and C shares), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.