MacAce has launched MacMate, a desktop-mounted online disk for drag-and-drop backup and file storage, web publishing, file sharing and more.

The service is included free with existing and new 8MB broadband products and available to everyone else from just £39 per year - almost half the price of Apple's .Mac service. It doesn't include .Mac's photo and movie sharing features, however.

Users get two spam-protected email addresses accessible through webmail, POP or IMAP protocols.

For desktop access to the service, users must install the MacMate Launcher that installs into the Dock. Once installed, a user's MacMate disk will appear on the desktop just like .Mac or an external drive.

MacAce plans to offer additional features in the coming months, including iLife integration.

MacMateLite offers 1GB of storage, 25MB of personal webspace and two email addresses for £3.99 per month or £39 per year. This is now included free to all MacAce broadband customers.

MacMatePro offers 10GB storage, 25MB of personal webspace and two email addresses. This service costs £5.99 per month or £59 per annum.

MacMateElite provides 25GB of storage, 25MB personal webspace and two emails. This service costs £9.99 per month or £99 annually.

Additional MacMate accounts can be purchased at half price.