This feature is still being reviewed by the feature team. No decision has been made yet. I’ll keep you posted.
They certainly should not be combined by default. Many people use Teams for team discussion primarily and Chat for occasional private discussion with a limited number of people. For many, combining them would make the application difficult to navigate because those things must be separate naturally. Or a reply to something private could accidentally end up on a more public thread. Better to allow an option for someone to merge their views if they like.
21 votesTia commented
I'm not replying to chats as quickly as I'd like to either because I can't tell the difference between their notifications or the team channel notifications in the taskbar. A lot of the stuff in the channels I can ignore or review later, while I'd like to reply to someone chatting directly at me more quickly. I can't be looking at Teams every time there's a notification as most of them don't require immediate attention; it'd be really helpful for them to have unique-looking taskbar indicators rather than being stacked together.