Slowly and stumblingly, Microsoft is learning to operate by the rules of a new environment, and while the reviews may be mixed on the whole Seinfeld Windows Gates campaign, Microsoft has managed to turn around a lot of negative press with Windows 7. Microsoft releasing a public beta of an OS in such a view seemed unthinkable once. After all Redmond was code for control freak. Microsoft treating its prize OS this way, all to garner tributes from some sneering hard core net types who mostly don’t even write for any magazines seemed absurd once, but it’s much less absurd now. Belatedly Microsoft is adapting to the very internet it once thought it could dominate, and is promoting Windows 7 to the very people it would have shrugged and once said that it didn’t need. Microsoft has indeed learned from Vista’s failure, and perhaps sped along by Bill Gates’ departure and Google’s growing dominance, not to take anything or anyone for granted. The Windows 7 release was naturally botched, but so was the far more internet savvy Firefox 3 release, and arguably Microsoft botched theirs slightly less. Microsoft has grown far more open about releasing early versions of its software and open communications, but if the press has improved, in no small part it’s because Microsoft these days looks more like the way IBM used to, a once terrifying dinosaur that looks like a sentimental relic of a bygone past.