Released today, Forbes' ranking of the richest people on the planet found Gates' fortune up $6 billion this year. The increase came not so much from Microsoft stock, which has shown little sign of life recently, but from other financial holdings and private investments.
More importantly, Forbes dubbed Gates the world's most generous person. Microsoft's chairman continues to devote a large amount of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal of wiping out polio, malaria, and other dangerous diseases. The foundation has already spent more than $28 billion on its various causes.