We used to call this “thin clients”; or just a terminal logged on to a server or mainframe. Jason Snell writes of something newish that Adobe and Google are doing with Chromebooks:
This week I got a demo of Photoshop running inside Chrome, and while it was really interesting, some of my assumptions were faulty. It turns out that when Adobe says Photoshop is a “streaming app,” they mean it—it’s much more like screen sharing than native software. Photoshop runs remotely on a Windows-based server, and video of the app’s interface streams to the Chrome browser.