After the fairly nice reception of OpenOffice's standards around the world, Microsoft has sought to take their place as a “standards-setting” company. Given that pressure from many companies and Governments has pushed them to creating an open standard, they have been working to doing just that – the Microsoft way.
Unfortunately for them, however, the V1 committee of INCITS, who were asked to decide on a path for the U.S. to take on OOXML, did not approve their current iteration. While many factors played into the failure to approve, many of them not relevant to the standard itself, it is still a setback for Microsoft.
That aside, over time their chance of success at getting it approved is rising. Earlier in the year, it was almost unanimously rejected, whereas now there is a greater split between those approving and not.
Microsoft still faces the problem of convincing people to adopt the format, however.