Votes were cast by ISO member bodies and 41 participating members from 104 countries. The procedure required a 66 per cent share of 'yes' votes from the national bodies and no more than 25 per cent opposing ballots.
Microsoft failed to meet both criteria, with 53 per cent of votes in favour and 26 per cent against. Members could also abstain.
The software developer had requested that the body fast-tracked the application, which would have allowed it to become an official standard by next year.
Microsoft now has the opportunity to address the objections at a meeting in February and seek consensus on possible modifications. The national bodies will then be able to withdraw their negative votes and pass the proposal.
If no compromise can be made, the fast-track procedure will be terminated. Microsoft will still be able to submit the standard under the normal standards development rules, but this will take more time than the fast-track procedure.
The defeat is a major set-back for Microsoft as it is attempting to keep control over the market for productivity suites. Prior to ISO releasing the results of the vote, Microsoft had issued a press release claiming " strong" global support.
The period leading up to the vote had been marked by strong lobbying from Microsoft, as well as opponents led by IBM.
Organisations are increasingly demanding that software supports open formats that allow multiple applications to open, edit and save documents without requiring licence fees.
A closed standard forces a lock-in with a single vendor and prevents documents from being accessed in the future when a certain technology has been discontinued.
Microsoft argues that its standard is more mature than the rival Open Document Format (ODF). But many counter that ODF is well suited to the job and that there is no need for two standards.
Some critics also have raised concerns about Microsoft's control over the standard, even though the ISO ratification would ensure its independence.
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