Windows Store

Launching System Features From Windows Store Apps

In Windows Phone we have a number of Launchers and Choosers for interacting with system features. For the most part the approach used in Windows Store is to use special URI schemes to achieve the same end result and launch platform features. I’ve collated together a list below of some known ones. Some like maps are documented in detail, others not. All can be launched with Windows.System.Launcher.LaunchUriAsync() (which also exists in Windows Phone 8 for launching other apps via a uri).


ms-windows-store: – Windows Store “Hub”

ms-windows-store:PDP?PFN={your package family name} – App detail page. Get your PFN from Windows.ApplicationModel.Package.Current.Id.FamilyName

ms-windows-store:REVIEW?PFN={your package family name} – Write a review page

ms-windows-store:Search?query={query term} -Remember to URI escape your query term text


xboxgames: – launches the games hub


The following launch Microsoft/Bing apps (if installed)

bingfinance: – Finance

bingfoodanddrink: – Food & Drink

binghealthnfitness: – Health & Fitness

bingmaps: – Maps. Full details here:-

bingnews: – News

bingsports: – Sports

bingtravel: – Travel

bingweather: – Weather

microsoftmusic: – Music

microsoftvideo: – Video

ms-mail: – Mail

windowsreadinglist: – Reading List

wlcalendar: – Calendar

wlpeople: – People

xboxsmartglass: – Smart Glass


Jumping back to the first set which cover the Store. In order to make these simpler to call and help with porting existing code from Windows Phone I’ve added a new library to the Charming suite. This is the first library to go the other way – provide a phone style API for Windows Store.

This library provides the MarketplaceHubTask, MarketplaceDetailTask and MarketplaceSearchTask which we know and love from Windows Phone and launches the equivalent functionality on Windows. The key differences beside the namespaces are that the content identifier for the MarketplaceDetailTask is a Package Family Name and there is no ContentType property to distinguish between apps, games and music. For the purposes of Windows Store all apps and games are treated the same and there is no music in the Windows Store. Code and documentation will be updated on the CodePlex site shortly though if you’ve used these features under Windows Phone you already know how to use it!

By Peter Foot

Microsoft Windows Development MVP