The magazine for Western Washington University

The explainer

Keith Boyd ('95, Political Science), senior content publishing manager

Story by Mary Gallagher

Print this story
Keith Boyd | Photo by Mark Malijan ('09)/The Emerald Collective

Thousands of software developers, from basement hobbyists to the inventors of the next Angry Birds, all depend on Keith Boyd ('95, Political Science) and his team at Microsoft.

Boyd leads a group of engineers who write the tens of thousands of pages of documentation used by software developers outside of Microsoft to build programs and applications to work with Windows. His team has already released specs for the next-generation operating system, Windows 8.

"The neat thing about Windows 8 is, it will work equally well with a keyboard and a mouse as it does with touch," Boyd says, "We had to produce more or less complete documentation for this release, so developers could hit the ground running and everyone could understand how this system works."

Inspirations: "When I was student body president, it was pretty cool to know a Western grad on the Board of Trustees (David Cole) who was among the most influential people at Microsoft," Boyd says. Now he gets the same feeling about Julie Larson-Green, the vice president in charge of program management for Windows. "She's been the most visible champion for Windows over the past couple of releases. It's always inspiring for me to see her up there: Here's a Western grad that's changing the world every day."

Radio pioneer: Boyd and Microsoft recruiter Dan Contreras ('97, Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration) were staff members of Western's KUGS when it became only the second radio station in the world to transmit on the Internet.

Western connections: Boyd is president-elect of the Alumni Association board. His wife, Leslie Boyd ('97, Recreation) is also a former A.S, President.