The default cursor is animated. As soon as I start apps from start menu the mouse pointer shows this spinning circle animation. Only apps which I start from desktop do not show this default spinning wheel mouse pointer animation.
I've just tried and I get the same behavior on Zorin Core, but on Zorin Lite still shows the loading cursor even when launching from the desktop shortcuts.
Probably has something to do with Gnome then... it seems the desktop file itself is just a duplicate of the desktop entry found in /usr/share/applications for that program, so I'm not sure what's causing this.
Yes, it's very annoying actually... I can understand their argument against using the desktop in favor of having a more "mobile-like experience" but what exactly is the issue with leaving the desktop available for those who want to use it?