Haven't seen this particular set of icons before, but neemo is probably right. It appears to be some form of virus/malware. I suggest you have your friend do a Full Scan or a Boot-time scan with whatever antivirus is installed on that Win8 PC (if he/she has one installed at all!). If they don't have an AV installed, they can use Windows Defender which is built-in to all Win8 machines at the OS level. It just has to be enabled. Post back if you need help doing that.
Next, have your friend download and run the free MALWAREBYTES antispyware program from Malwarebytes.org. This will often identify nasty spyware viruses that most antivirus and Internet Security programs miss.
After having your friend run his installed AV or Defender and the MALWAREBYTES and removing any and all viruses and spyware found, power off the machine and reboot. Retest to see if the icon banner is now gone. If so, your friend's PC is fixed--No Charge!
If the problem persists after trying the above, you should attempt the following in order:
(1.)Backup all personal data to external media such as an external usb flash drive or Cloud account (2.) Attempt System Restore and rollback his/her Windows to a time prior to when the icons banner first showed up (3.) Attempt a Windows in-place upgrade repair (you can google it or search our forum for instructions) (4.) Attempt a Windows Reset from FACTORY RECOVERY MEDIA (DVD disc or USB stick) or built-in Reset in Recovery Partition of hard drive. (5.) Attempt a Windows Reinstallation from FACTORY RECOVERY MEDIA (DVD disc or USB stick) or built-in Reinstallation in the Recovery partition of hard drive.
If none of these work, you'll need to test your friend's hardware; post back for a link on how to do that. Or consider advising them to take it to a licensed computer Tech at a local repair shop near to where you live. This will cost you or your friend money; but depending on where you live, failed hardware can cost up to $1,500 especially if you're outside the US.