Microsoft has launched the public beta of Microsoft Office 365, its cloud-based productivity suite, in India, the company announced this week. The beta combines Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online as a cloud service. It is available at

Microsoft said that of the organizations around the world that have signed up for the beta, more than 70% are small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The public release of Office 365 is expected later this year.

With the release, Microsoft has introduced Office 365 Marketplace, which the company said is now live with more than 100 applications and 400 professional services. Office 365 also includes the option to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The company also announced a contest called Office 365: Ready for Work. Qualifying small businesses can share their stories on Microsoft’s Office 365 Facebook page, with winners announced in September.