Hi, Rich --
You can add programs to the Taskbar, but I have not yet found a way to put their icons on the Desktop.
Open a program that runs on Desktop (e.g. Control Panel or Computer). When the program opens, it will appear in the taskbar. Right click its entry on the taskbar, and choose "Pin this program to Taskbar."
If you find a way to put icons on the Desktop, let us know.