Somebody I know, who's an IT guy, a Linux user but a Windows admin told me that his DELL laptop has never had an issue with Vista, Vista SP1 or SP2. His system is running a Core 2 Duo and has 4 GB of RAM.
At work I have a DELL 755 (a desktop and on the Vista WHL) Core 2 Duo CPU with 4 GB of RAM running Vista and later Vista SP1 and it never ran right. Everything from browsing the hard drive to trying to navigate to a shared drive on the network was a painfully slow process. A lot of the time, the screen would go into a "white-out" and things would appear to come to a complete stop. Extremely annoying.
I dumped Vista and put Ubuntu 9.04 and later 9.1 on the exact same DELL with NO hardware changes and it has never even hiccuped once. It has run without ANY failures and only has required one reboot (outside of new kernel installs)in the year since I installed Ubuntu 9.04.
I asked some more questions and the chip sets are the same, the CPU clock speeds were within 10%. The only real differences were the motherboards obviously are different since they are in differing boxes and the power management settings were most likely different.
I've run into this before. Laptop users report no troubles (or at least very few problems) and desktop users hate Visaster. I have had some laptop users complain about Vista but when you look under the keyboard, the chipset is not a more recent model or the amount of RAM is less than 3GB.
So what's the difference? Laptops are the darlings of software programmers. Every programmer has to have the latest and greatest laptop made. A lot of them insist on Apple laptops. Is it possible that the OS Vista is predestined to run on the fastest Intel CPU and chip set available 4 to 5 years ago? What was running in all those laptops?
By the time the final builds got to the hardware testing teams, my bet is that there wasn't enough time to really subject the Visaster installs to really rigorous testing because the RTM date was too close. The focus was on laptop testing because most users are now operating laptops.