If you hate these, I have a way to stop them, and punish Microsoft for not allowing us the option of not displaying them.
Since they won't let me have the option to turn these stupid things off, my workaround is to use a very old browser, which does not even know how to display this stupid ****. Of course, now their ads aren't showing through, either! Bonus!;)
I think I might just keep it this way. Shot yourselves in the foot, arrogant jerks.
Again, you can not only remove the icons, but stop the ads on the free version too.
I'm using IE 8 for this, just for Outlook only. Ironic, using their own outdated browser to defeat this Outlook irritation. Perhaps a more recent browser will also put the kibosh on the icons, if anyone experiments and finds a better old browser for this let us know.