Former engineering leader for Xbox. Founded Xbox Live & XNA. Currently researching the future of connected device operating systems.
Trained in Mechanical Engineering, Boyd realized early that he doesn’t like to be told what to do, so he started a software company out of college building desktop publishing software. That transitioned into building web servers at Microsoft, then founding the Xbox Live team in 2000.
On the Xbox team, Boyd started Xbox Live and ran engineering for it for four years. This included all aspects of the service and client libraries. In 2004 he founded XNA, which opened up the Xbox to all developers and established C# as the language of gaming in tools that would live beyond XNA itself (Monogame, Unity, more…). Lastly, he ran the operating system team for the Xbox One console. This covered all areas from the hypervisor/kernel and security up to the application model, UI, and Kinect.
Since leaving Microsoft in 2014, Boyd has been independently researching (and building) the future of operating systems for IoT (Internet of things) style connected devices. With an emphasis on security, self-healing, ease of programming, and small footprint, he is leveraging what he learned building the Xbox into new fields.
Boyd’s experience runs the full stack, from the top to the bottom. He has managed teams that have built low-level real-time operating systems from the vectors into chips, to consumer UI; high-end 3D games/engines; and fundamental research (Kinect). He has personally coded web sites, web servers, datacenter tools, desktop publishing tools, and video games. Boyd has filed roughly 50 patents with at least 26 final approved. He has managed projects that range from very small to $100M in budget.