"While IBM posted relatively strong financial results, the
company's top executives provided tempered optimism about the
"'We are beginning to see signs that the economy has stabilized.
As we look to 2004, more customers are expected to increase their
investments in information technology. While demand is not yet
across the board, it is strongest in the areas where we have
positioned the company and strengthened our capabilities,' said Sal
Palmisano, IBM chairman and CEO.
"'Next year, in fact, we see the need for approximately 10,000
new positions in key skill areas, including high-value services,
middleware technologies, Linux and open standards-based hardware
and software. And we are committing $200 million of our $700
million in training and learning to equip more than 100,000
existing employees with the skills that are highest in demand,'
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