How big is Y2038? How much will it cost to prepare for it?

Y2038 is an extremely large and complex problem! One way to estimate the magnitude of Y2038 is to use Y2K as a basis. Some estimates for the total worldwide amount spent preparing for Y2K are over $1 trillion USD. Consider that Y2K affected the earliest 30 years of the Digital Age. Y2038 will mostly affect the second set of 30 years of the Digital Age (optimistically assuming all products sold after 2030 will be Y2038-compliant). There will be several orders of magnitude more computers, software, etc. put into service from 2000-2038 compared to 1970-2000. Thus, it follows that the effort required to prepare for Y2038 will be at least several times larger than Y2K. Taking into account inflation as well, the total worldwide cost of preparing for Y2038 will easily exceed $10 trillion USD.

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Author: John Lange

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