|Option 1: You can hide inactive icons the same way you take care of Quick Launch. Right-click on Windows task bar and click on "Hide inactive icons". |
Option 2: Most of the icons in the notification area respond to right-click or double left-click, then open the program and disable to option to show icon. For example, Windows network icon can be removed by right-click on network icon (the one with two terminals), Open Network Connections, right-click on Local Area Connection (or whichever one you want to remove), then remove check marks from "Show icon in notification area..." and "Notify me when...".