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.

MSFT Chart

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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.