Friday has arrived in all its resplendent glory, and so it is time to kick back and check out the biggest, best, and craziest Microsoft news from the last seven days.

This has been a less news-intensive week than the one previous, so we have taken extensive detours down into the odd and occasionally humorous sides of the world of Microsoft. Nevertheless, we have a great round-up for you this week, so let’s get into it.

Bill Gates no longer the world’s richest man

Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world, and it’s not due to the anemic performance of Microsoft’s stock. The man just won’t stop pumping billions of dollars of his wealth into saving lives around the world.

Yes, Gates is now worth a mere $49 billion, a sharp decline from what experts estimate his fortune would be if wasn’t a philanthropist: $88 billion. Still, being the second richest man in the world is nothing to cry about.

Warren Buffet is right behind his long time Microsoft bud with $47 billion. Can I have a million, please?

bill gates mugshot This week at Microsoft: Bill Gates, OneVision, and musical Paint

OneVision is the future of facial recognition

We love taking a look at Microsoft Research projects, they often make us reconsider the way that we see the world, and also make us contemplate the future of technology. We try to bring you a new Research project every week.

What we uncovered this week is called ‘OneVision,’ and it is perhaps the most futuristic bit of facial recognition software we have ever seen. Why is it so special? Because it live tracks faces in video, opening up new software product categories in the future.

Sure, it still has some kinks, but if you want to see some darn slick development work, check out the video.

Microsoft begins to push Win7 slates

Everyone, including Microsoft, knows that Apple is miles ahead of the market in the world of tablets, but that is not stopping the Redmond behemoth from starting to dump money into advertising Windows 7 based slates.

The ad is good, but is the product good enough to go head to head with the iPad 2? We can’t decide that for the market, but watch the clip:

Musical Paint

And finally, for the last entry for the day, we have a special treat for everyone reading who is a musical buff. What do you think would happen if you imported Paint.exe, yes Paint, into an audio program?

Would you guess that once interpreted as audio data, Paint would almost be a song? No? Well, prepare to be shown, ye of little faith, because the track that we have below is most certainly a one-of-a-kind experiment in both software and music.

startuprally2 This week at Microsoft: Bill Gates, OneVision, and musical Paint