If you are using Windows 7 and the Windows Live Essential software, you will notice that your Windows Live Messenger (and Mail) does not minimize to the status bar. Instead it will show a highlighted icon on the task bar, which I find it rather annoying and disruptive. Here’s a quick way to take it off the taskbar and make it minimize to the status bar.
In your Start menu, go to the Windows Live Messenger entry, right click on it and select Properties.
Go to the Compatibility tab and check the box “Run this program in compatible mode”. In the dropdown field, select “Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)”. Click Ok.
If you have your Windows Live Messenger open, close it and reopen it. It should now appear in the status bar when you minimize it.
Note: The above method will work for Windows Live Mail as well.