Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager continues to support packages and programs that were used in Configuration Manager 2007. A deployment that uses packages and programs might be more suitable than a deployment that uses an application when you deploy any of the following:

When you migrate a Configuration Manager 2007 site to a Configuration Manager hierarchy, you can migrate existing packages and deploy them in your Configuration Manager hierarchy. After migration is complete, your Configuration Manager 2007 packages appear in the Packages node in the Software Library workspace. You can modify and deploy these packages in the same way as you did by using Configuration Manager 2007 software distribution. The Import Package from Definition Wizard remains in Configuration Manager to import legacy packages. Advertisements are converted to deployments when they are migrated from Configuration Manager 2007 to a Configuration Manager hierarchy.

You can use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Package Conversion Manager to convert packages and programs into Configuration Manager applications. Download Package Conversion Manager from the Microsoft Download Center.For more information, see Configuration Manager Package Conversion Manager (Prerelease).

Packages can use some new features of Configuration Manager, including distribution point groups and the new monitoring functionality. Microsoft Application Virtualization applications can no longer be distributed by using packages and programs in Configuration Manager. To distribute virtual applications, you must create these as Configuration Manager applications.

To successfully create virtual applications in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, 64-bit client computers must have the App-V 4.6 or later client installed before the Configuration Manager client is upgraded.
For Configuration Manager SP1 only: For information about how to deploy packages and programs to clients that run Linux and UNIX, see Deploying Software to Linux and UNIX Servers in Configuration Manager.

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