The first time I saw the words "Windows 96" today, I questioned my memory: there was no really a version of Windows between 95 and 98 that everyone had forgotten, right? Well, a little, but yes has been canceled before being publicly released. Windows96.net, so it's a "what if" for Windows of the 90s, a fully browser-based operating system that imagines what another version of the classic Windows could have been like.
At a glance, Windows 96 could probably fool you into thinking it's the real deal. Old Computer, Trash, and Settings icons are out of stock. The start menu is its classic standalone, with nested folders containing useful utilities such as a terminal and also a "WTF" folder with a simulated Trojan. But there are also many modern touches, such as a link to Project Discord and a live chat program that connects you to other people currently using Windows 96.
My favorite touch is that Windows 96 allows you to install emulators like DOSBox, which means you can too run Windows 95 inside Windows 96. Real windows, inside fake Windows, inside Chrome, pretty wild. I also tried to boot Internet Explorer from Windows 95, but this blocked the browser. Actually, that felt appropriate. If it didn’t fail, it wouldn’t be classic Windows.
You can learn more about Windows 96 on the wiki here.