That.. depends. I'm not really 100% sure, to be honest. But I would guess that they probably would.
I actually have gotten desk.cpl from Server 2003 to open on 7, however it is completely nonfunctional. It uses the UI from %SystemRoot%\System32\themeui.dll, so it won't look like it did in XP (unless of course you were to swap out themeui.dll, but that still doesn't have any functionality).
Here are a few screenshots of it:
Keep in mind that this is on Windows 7. On Windows 8, there would be even less options, as the "Color Scheme" and "Window Color and Appearance" dialogs were removed from themeui.dll in Windows 8. Likewise, Vista should give you the "Themes" tab that was seen in XP.
Thank you for replying. So either we somehow reverse engineer desk.cpl and fix it up, or someone is able to whip up a different program that is able to make those changes, which also means a fair bit of reverse engineering anyway + taking the time to craft such a piece of software. A gargantuan undertaking either way...
Oh well, thanks for answering my query. Much appreciated.