I'd argue that the Pi could fail because Linux could be not up to scratch (pun intended). The product has been released now, and people still seem to be running into all kinds of fatal issues, very early in the process of trying to use their Pi.
I know this is for now a "hacker" launch. But things need to start working smoothly quickly now, and good docs need to be available. If things are still at "hacker" level a handful of months from now, the Pi's reputation will start to be established - in a bad way.
Unlikely. Just looking at the troubleshooting section, problems are already being solved. Maybe not the nasty ones yet, but that will come as more and more really experience Linux people get hold of them.
Worst case scenario, the Pi geeks fragment into several sub-groups by distro, all perfectly happy with a non-release-grade, badly documented OS that let's them show off their haxxor skillz, but prevents newbies, teachers, and kids from using / enjoying / messing with their Pi.
Pretty much guaranteed to happen. But you only need one, solid distro and one set of documentation for those newbies and all will be well. And that's what the Foundation is for...as shown by work already being done on docs. And an official distro that combines the best of the rest shouldn't be far behind.
Then MS (t)rolls in with "which Pi ? the Debian one that can't do video, the Fedora one that can't do hardware, or the Arch one that doesn't include any of the edu packages ? And who is going to provide you with training and support ?
Well, can't do much about that, except ensure they don't have any ammunition.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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