Just 2 cents from a Windows user:
The Windows desktop was made in resemblance to a real desk and the things you find there: Files, Folders and even a trashbin (technically not ON the desktop ofc). Its a matter of personal preference HOW you organize your desktop:
- Some keep it 100% clean
- Some have a few items lying around
- Some got a sh1tload of unnecessary things there.
My current desktop at work has 32 items: A mixture of starter icons, documents and whatever. Windows got adopted also for the "chaotic" way how you can work with it. It tries to give you maximum freedom on that:
Does anybody understand what´s going on here? No. Does the owner of this desktop understand it? Yes, and he might be most productive with it.
During work, I almost never have to go to the desktop, however. I use it rarely. Also a matter of personal preference.
Can´t we just offer: Appdrawer AND background to organize stuff? You could pin starters and documents to the background (Problem: convergence and how to deal with the layout?)
A good DE gives all users a possible way to develop their own habits and preferences. Not try to force them into a single use pattern.