I was excited to see the TI Launchpad platform, especially given the low price ($4.30). Unfortunately, there are two troubling statements in their wiki… these are dealbreakers for a growing number of hobbyists:
“There is currently no official support for the Linux operating system.”
“There is currently no official support for the Mac OS X operating system”
While windows is still dominant in the electronics profession, the hobby crowd is much more varied. These issues will make it hard for the launchpad to compete with Arduino. I’ll probably order one to play with, but when I already have a dozen Arduinos (Arduini?) lying around, and the latest IDE on each of my computers (linux & mac alike) it is hard to imagine going through much trouble just for a cheaper board. For me, the value of Arduino is in the community resources that are already out there. The codebase is huge, you can find thousands of great examples and tweak them to your particular use: search google or youtube for what you want to make, upload the code to arduino and you are done.
Programming Arduino is like plugging in to the matrix… a few clicks and keystrokes and suddenly “I know kung fu”