Windows 8 first impressions

Windows 8
Windows 8

(CBS) - As Microsoft's BUILD conference winds down, developers and tech journalists are starting to voice their opinions of Windows 8.

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Keep in mind, Microsoft's new operating system is still in the midst of development and most likely won't launch until 2012. Windows 8 will go through changes and improvements before the official release.

Featuring a more tablet-friendly design, Windows 8 is a complete departure from previous versions. Icons are now large tiles. There is full touch screen support and a multi-touch on-screen keyboard. Essentially, there is no desktop as we know it.

USA Today's Edward C. Baig was "jazzed" with the Samsung tablet loaded given attendees of BUILD. His first impression was so "favorable that even Apple should be on alert."

TechRadar's Mary Branscombe is optimistic about the new operating system. "At this stage there are certainly rough edges, but the Windows 8 experience is also extremely compelling and genuinely innovative," Branscome said. "Windows 8 is on target to give you a tablet experience that's very like Windows Phone on a bigger screen, with the same fluid and responsive and very personal experience, plus the same sort of smart integration between different applications."

ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is skeptical of claims that Windows 8 could be an iPad killer. "The way I see it, the iPad stands alone. Apple doesn't even call it a tablet. Sure, it is a tablet but I think that when people are buying an iPad they're not thinking 'oh, I'm buying a tablet,' they're thinking 'oh, I'm buying an iPad!' Big difference," Kingsley-Hughes said. 

While first impressions didn't sell everyone, most people are impressed with the Windows 8. Our main concern is that the desktop users will be left in the dust. Not everyone has or wants a tablet. And some of us like our wallpaper.

BUILD is a new conference running from September 13 to 16. The event is meant to help developers create new and innovative apps for Microsoft products.