Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Who'll Keep Your 50-Year-Old Software Running?

Mainframe computer circa 1960s
Mainframe computer circa 1960s Photograph by SSPL/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that most of the technology we take for granted is just a generation or so old. Most of us carry more computing power in our pockets or handbags than a state-of-the-art office or factory possessed during the Reagan era, when the Microsoft operating system (MS-DOS) was first coming into use.

With generational change, however, comes a generational challenge: The baby boomers that brought us the computer revolution, developing the products and programs we now rely on, are retiring.