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
The info I posted at https://forums.opera.com/post/167025 came from an Opera developer. What the Browser Assistant is for still hasn't changed as far as I know. What seems to have changed is that the assistant is present on the system just from installing Opera directly. However, in my case, the assistant wasn't actually running. Maybe Opera is doing some a/b testing. Or, maybe Opera is just testing including it with the installer no matter what and keeping it updated, but only having it activated (and shown in the system tray) when Opera is installed by a 3rd party program. If so, maybe that makes things easier for bundling Opera. Or, maybe it's just due to Opera's recent updates to the updater. Maybe the assistant is just being installed and updated when not actually needed, which could be a bug or maybe intended.
Hopefully we'll find out.
Yea, all I meant was that the description given didn't really tell much. Makes it sound as if it's a separate program from Opera (with a separate installer, updater, install directory, etc.) and all it does is put an "O" in your system tray to remind folks that they have the Opera Browser installed on their system? Yeah, that doesn't jive with me. Even if that was 100% true (why would that require an updater...), I would think it'd do more to "remind" folks to uninstall Opera, hehe.
Anyway, from what I can tell (without digging muuch deeper...), once I removed it from startup and its updater from startup tasks, the assistant program no longer runs when I start my PC. If I notice it running at any other time or doing anything else, I'll report it. Right now it APPEARS that Opera is fine with you just disabling it.