This might be a silly question but what do you mean by “desktop icons” that have been removed?
I have a heap of icons on my desktop, mostly documents and images that I am working on. (Ubuntu 20.04 with Gnome desktop.)
The only thing that I have noticed that has disappeared from the desktop in recent years is the trash can - but you can put that back with
gnome-tweaks if you want. (I don’t.)
Developers might argue that if you don’t like it then change it. That’s what open source means.
I understand that you personally might not have the expertise to do that, but if enough people don’t like it then someone will change it.
That approach means that the software ends up with more and more options, which are hard to design for orthogonality and near impossible to test comprehensively, and makes the software harder to maintain, and more bloated.
As we move to different platforms (e.g. touchscreen phone v. conventional desktop), some of the paradigms don’t translate so well, and hence they look at slightly different abstractions, which may necessitate removing some features.
I totally get it though. The user interface is the primary means (by definition) by which you interact with your computer, and users nearly always hate it when the user interface changes.