How do you use 32bit icons? (winapi/VS2010)

I can't find much info on this. MSDN recommends to use 16x16, 32x32, and 48x48 icons, no greater than 24-bits. But I'm pretty sure Windows uses icons much larger than that and with alpha channel. Yet when I make an icon with alpha and import it into my project it has no alpha and just looks stupid.

This seems like something everyone should know yet there seems to be very little info about it.

I want my programs to look modern but with these crappy icons it looks like it was designed for win95.
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