From the site you linked to:
(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
This idiom is Indian English
So given that it was an article about US government, it's fair to assume that the writer was trying to use American English idioms, rather than Indian English ones.
Sure, $10-$15k may be "the cheapest part of running a datacenter", but for someone starting a new business, bootstrapping themselves up, A $10-$15k up front expense can be pretty prohibitive. Let's say you buy a pair of $4000 servers, (Web and DB) and drop them in a colo charging somewhere around $700-$1000 a month. With open source software, you can be up and working on about 10 grand initial investment, plus $1000 a month. After the first year, you're at $22k. Now, Let's look at microsoft licensing: SQL Server Web is ~$4.5k per processor, plus $1k for the OS so my dual core DB machine is $10k up front. The web server is cheaper, ~$500 up front for the OS, and that includes IIS. Then add in two Developers with MSDN Professional, Microsoft list price of $1,200 each ($800 might be possible with "volume licensing", but probably not for 2 developers) and you're looking at a total of $13k.
So: to sum up, Open source/free tools: $10k first month, $21k for a year. $33k for a second year, and $45k for a third year. Microsoft toolstack: $23k for the first month, $34k for the year, $46k for the second year, $58k for the third. So, basically, buying Microsoft for a small shop ends up costing you about 1 year of your hosting budget.
And sure, forums with the MS Professionals are useful, but as a secondary form of documentation. When I'm the only person at my shop, and I'm trying to solve a problem, if I have to pause my dev process for 2 days to wait for a response, that's cutting 1% off of my profit margin.