Yahoo Inc., the apple of Microsoft’s eye in recent weeks, has unveiled improvements to the Yahoo Development Network, Web-service capabilities and advertiser opportunities. The moves could be seen as an attempt to show Yahoo’s value is greater than the US$40 billion acquisition bid of the Redmond giant.

Most recent was the announcement Thursday of the opening of Yahoo’s Web services to application developers, a move that echoes in some ways changes by MySpace and Facebook social networks to simplify access to their networks and offer developers more capabilities.

In his keynote speech at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last week, Yahoo CTO Ari Balogh spoke of the Yahoo Open Strategy, and how Yahoo is “rewiring the company from the inside out to create a development platform” that will open many of Yahoo’s assets to developers. It’s part of the 100-day plan kicked off by Yahoo CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang last in September, prior to Microsoft’s bid.

In a CNET News story further detailing the open strategy, Balogh was quoted as saying that the plan requires that the company “replumb Yahoo to use a single profile and create feeds, a way to consume feeds and Web services APIs and to layer those mechanisms into the platform.” The launch is set for sometime this year.

On Thursday, Yahoo made available a beta release of SearchMonkey, site tools intended to ease the job of assembling more attractive and detailed search results pages and for building SearchMonkey applications. These apps combine PHP, XSLT and DataRSS and can access the company’s user base, fine-tune search results and pull in and modify other people’s apps. SearchMonkey apps also can permit users to customize the search experience, to switch between different types of results displays and integrate other apps and sites.

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