There are many interpretations of the word "standard" or "standards" across many organizations.
The definition that perhaps best fits the use of the terms "standard" or "standards" with respect to microformats is the following:
"Something, such as a practice or a product, that is widely recognized or employed, especially because of its excellence."
"standard." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 28 Dec. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/standard