"One of the technology industry's last defenses against
a weak economy -- its steady stream of services business -- may
have started to fall, kicking out one of the last supports after
hardware and software sales have faltered.
Titans such as IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM)
have parlayed their expertise into long-term consulting contracts
with corporations to keep computer systems humming and integrate
The subscription contracts, which often run for years, have been
a welcome, steadying influence on results for vendors such as
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