I installed Opera a few months ago in my windows 10 machine in order to have an alternative web browser. I use firefox, mainly due to habit and laziness; I've got the bookmarks and extensions already set and don't want to tinker with those in another browser.
Today I wanted to give a shot to Opera (version 75 stable), so I clicked on the pin tile from my start menu. No response. Went to the folder and clicked on an .exe file there, I believe its name is launcher. An error message poped up. I figured maybe windows corrupted the software for some obscure reason. So I plan to uninstall it and then install it again. And here is where things started to look interesting. There was no response from the uninstaller; I tried to uninstall several times and there was no response, no process, no pop up, nothing. While I tried to fix the problem I also notice a ".opera" empty folder in my downloads folder. So I figure I needed to download tha latest version. Once downloaded, I clicked on upgrade, the progress bar filled up, the windows settings opened at the same time and I got the browser running again.
The whole process made me curious, so I tried to check some things here and there, and found:Opera sets itself as the default browser without asking. Opera started to update without even open the app in months. Opera creates, without asking, several tasks in the task scheduler, without asking. There were 3 tasks in total, all seemed identical and were aimed to autoupdate the app. Neither firefox nor chrome had created similar tasks. The autoupdate process blocked the app completely, even for uninstalling. I wasn't able to find a setting to disable autoupdates. Firefox's got that option.
This behaviour is deliberate, at least the part in which the browser is set as default and the part that schedule tasks. I came here to warn people. This software is too shady and you should be cautious if you plan to use it.