I don't think it was dismissed (and closed) because the answer was included in one of the sources the OP mentioned outright. Demonstrating one has done some of the research already is actually a Good Thing.
Rather, we prefer the site not be used to ask questions about individual, specifically-named stocks where the end goal may be to buy or sell the stock. Many individual-company stock boards or forums exist precisely for that purpose. For example, here and here and here. (Quality varies; and notice I didn't mention the one that starts with "Y" and ends with "!")
If the question were generalized to not be specific to Microsoft, and using Microsoft merely as an example to support the more general question, then it may have survived. e.g. Q: "How do I find out how an integrated technology company makes money?" (A: Read the annual report, and here are some things you should know about companies in the industry... etc. etc.) .. or something along those lines, I hope you get the idea.
Consider the alternative if we did allow questions of the form. Then all of these are valid questions:
- How does Apple make money?
- How does Google make money?
- How does Oracle make money?
- How does Yahoo! make money?
- How does Facebook make money?
- How does Hewlett-Packard make money?
- ... etc times thousands of stock symbols ... (similar to the issue discussed here)
And consequent to us allowing those kinds of questions would be the degeneration of the signal-to-noise ratio, and a consequent influx of people posting poor-quality questions or answers simply to shill/promote/pump & dump a particular stock, or to find validation or consensus for some investment decision they made. We don't want to go there.