Amazon.has launched a hosted storage service for software developers so they can access their applications' data from anywhere via the web.

The service carries no minimum fee and costs US$0.15 per gigabyte of storage per month and $0.20 per gigabyte of transferred data.

Called S3, the service runs on top of the storage infrastructure on which Amazon runs its own websites and offers 99.99 percent availability.

A University of California science team uses S3 to store and serve up 60 million images collected for a NASA experiment, while CastingWords, an audio transcription service, uses S3 to store audio files and text.