I wouldn't say Direct3D is ahead of nor behind OpenGL. They are both at about the same place. But at MS they have an entire dev team devoted to Direct3D so it is really not fair to compare the two. Besides Direct3D is just an interface to the HAL which means hardware manuf. come out with new ideas, hardware manuf. implement them on the card, D3D gurus write the interfaces in D3D, and driver gurus implement the interfaces. There a whole lot more people involved than just Microsoft when it comes to the advances in Direct3D.
These costs and benefits can be exemplified in the differences between OpenGL and DirectX. OpenGL is managed by a standards committee whereas DirectX can move at whatever speed Microsoft deems necessary. Guess which one of these is lagging behind the bleeding edge graphics technologies?