Yes, it's another installment of I bet somebody got a really nice bonus for that feature. A customer had this question for the Windows 7 team:

Our program creates a notification icon, and we found that on Windows 7 it is hidden. It appears properly on all previous versions of Windows. What is the API to make our icon visible?

First of all, I'd like to congratulate you on writing the most awesome program in the history of the universe.

Unfortunately, Windows 7 was not prepared for your awesomeness, because there is no way to prevent your notification icon from being hidden. That's because if there were, then every other program (the ones that aren't as awesome as you) would use it, thereby causing your awesome icon to be lost among all the non-awesome ones.

I'm sorry. You will just have to find some other medium for self-actualization.