Whereas in Windows your desktop has your shortcuts, and the Start menu lists the apps installed in the filesystem.
This is a consequence of how the two OSes started out. MacOS was coded from the start as a GUI, so logically the desktop is the root of your filesystem. Windows was originally a shell running on DOS. So all your files were stored in the DOS filesystem, and originally the desktop just had shortcuts to your program and data files.
OK, also no.
On the mac, the desktop was always for doing work. On the PC, the desktop didn't exist until Windows 95 (ignoring non-Windows operating systems) because in Windows 3.1 it was just a place to store icons of running programs. It wasn't a desktop as we know it, where you can put anything, like on the Mac. On the mac, the desktop was useful before the OS even had shortcuts, known as aliases. You could drag stuff there from your hard drive, and the system would remember that those icons were supposed to show up on the desktop.
On the PC, the start menu most certainly does not "list the apps installed in the filesystem". Just like the Mac, if you want to find that, you have to dig down into the HDD. The start menu on the PC contains shortcuts exclusively by default. You can stick anything you want in there, of course. As for the desktop, the computer no longer even appears there. By default, the only things on the desktop are the trash, shortcuts which can be placed there by programs which want to seem important, and any documents you've saved there... plus any shovelware shat there by any OEM you may have purchased your PC from.
Before Windows had a desktop as we know it, it had two primary interfaces; a program manager and a file manager. The program manager only showed shortcuts (.PIFs) and the file manager would show you the full filesystem view. From there you could run .exe files. I don't actually remember if the program manager would run a PIF, ISTR that it would but I am not sure any more and do not care enough to find out. The program manager became the start menu, always available at the click of a button and ordered with folders and subfolders instead of single-depth "program groups". The file manager became explorer and provides the desktop (which became just another file view) as well as folder windows.