As a Brazilian who is the right age to have been an overexcited teenager during the MSX era let me say that it was my dream to have one. My family had a PC/XT clone so they didn’t want an MSX. I really wanted all that color, all those games. Maybe I will buy one now and check it out :D
The MSX was also quite popular in The Netherlands and Spain, mostly the machines Philips produced (something the article curiously left out).
I probably wouldn’t be on this site if it wasn’t for the MSX. Like many machines of its day, it booted to a BASIC environment in 2 seconds and then you could just program it. I still have my (Dutch) programming book from when I was a young teenager that got me hooked on this entire programming stuff in the first place.
We eventually replaced it with a Windows 98 machine, and that was much harder to do any sort of programming on. I tried some C++ with some horrible “teach yourself C++ in 10 minutes” book and a pirated copy of Visual Studio, and the entire experience was painful. I thought this was the only way to do stuff. 15-year old me gave up as I had more important things to do like play video games and chase girls. It wasn’t until I started mucking about with FreeBSD and Linux a few years later that I got back in to programming with Perl, shell scripting, and Python.
IMHO the programmability of operating systems by defaults is a very important feature and empowering for interested “power users”. These days stuff is a bit easier than in 1999, but there are probably a number of improvements that could be made (not just for Windows, also Linux).