Microsoft's Windows 8 software appears to be driving buyers away from PCs and toward smartphones and tablets, research firm IDC said Wednesday. That's leading to the fastest drop in PC sales the firm has ever seen.
Global shipments of PCs fell 14 percent in the first three months this year, IDC said. That's the sharpest plunge since the firm started tracking the industry in 1994.
The report comes after a year of bad news for the PC. Consumers, especially in wealthy countries like the U.S., are steering their dollars toward tablets and smartphones rather than upgrading their home PCs. It's the biggest challenge to the personal computer since the IBM PC was released in 1981.