Programmatically Searching the Windows Store

Although to my knowledge there isn’t a publically available API for the Windows store there is a little known method to invoke the store  from any machine running Windows 8.

The basis for this method is the intrinsic support for  the stores own HTTP protocols on Windows 8.  At the moment this seems to work on al the major browsers (ie, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Example 1: Search for a Publisher

Type the following into your browsers address bar to find all the aps I currently have published in the store:

ms-windows-store:Search?Query=Web Surfaces

Example 2: Search for a Subject

Lets say that I am a sailor and want to learn the rudiments of how to tie various sailing related knots (humour me):


(Who knew?)

Example 3: Bringing up a specific App

Lets say I am a developer and want to bring up the store with my own apps page.  I have already checked the Browser’s user agent to ensure the user is running on Windows 8 (useragent string contains ‘Windows NT 6.2’)

I also know my apps own unique GUID which I can get by logging in to and checking the GUID used in a standard http link:



Example 4 Checking the store for updates:


Here is a list of the parameters presently supported by this protocol:


NB There is also some rudimentary documentation for this protocol from Microsoft here

Using protocols in your own Apps

You can use http protocols in your own apps. For example my own App ‘Presenters Assistant’ uses it to invoke itself after someone shares some text with it.

To try this, download the App, then type the following into your browsers address bar:

scroll://This is an example of some text to scroll

(Watch out for my next blog post about how to do this)

London Landmarks



Get the lowdown on the must see landmarks before you visit London.

Many hundreds of videos go into this collection which is constantly updated (new items appear automatically within the App).

It covers all the most popular landmarks but if there is a particular landmark that you are interested in then you can add it using the in built search option (easier to use than you might think)

Having spent many years living in London myself I am sure you will be very happy with this App and I sincerely hope that you enjoy your time in London!



Be prepared with some amazing tips on bringing up baby.

★★★★★ "OMG, this is awesome!"

★★★★★ "I learned a lot, thank you!"

★★★★★ "Wish this App had been around in my day!"

Get top tips from real parent as well as baby ;experts’ in this constantly updated catalogue of video clips covering:












“Just what we needed!”

Create App Package Dialog Failing


Recently I am finding that the above dialog is getting harder and harder to work through and has become a bottleneck when attempting to issue a new version of an existing App (or a new App).  When I first started developing apps for Windows 8 it would fail occasionally, but a refresh would solve the problem.  I am now finding that sometimes even a dozen refreshes are required before I get my list of Apps.


I haven’t found a solution for this issue which seems to be getting worse as we get more and more apps in the store?

Is anyone else suffering with this issue?


I also found this:

Report it here: