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    I agree mostly with Joe Average that any type of animated help is just too much.  It may nice for its novelty at first, even beginners would like that to help them to feel comfortable.  But I'm sure it wouldn't be long til they were saying "I wish that cloud would just blow away"  or something to that effect.
    However, even for beginners it is a bit of a stretch, especially considering how reviled "Clippy" and the "dog" are.
    I much prefer straightforward help.  This is what happened, this is what you can/could do to prevent it from happening again.  All too often the answer is too cryptic for the average user.
    Hopefully MS is leaning towards less or no use of animated characters.