I am really, really puzzled as to why only a single opera moderator has commented here and ZERO folks from Opera have attempted an explanation of what this mystery software is doing on our computers. Can we take a tiny break from talking about where we're seeing it and how to remove it and instead focus on what the hell it actually IS?
-- "I checked with Opera. The Opera Browser Assistant is a legit program from Opera. It only gets installed when Opera gets installed when Opera is bundled with another program like an Anti-virus program. The assistant is just there to let you know that you have Opera on your system. "
The above doesn't really make sense (especially in the current context - it now being installed with every instance of the browser). It's not helpful. (although I thank whoever it was who tried contacting someone at Opera to get an answer).