Ubuntu releases the latest version of its operating system almost after every 6 months. Once a release is out, the version of all packages stay constant for the entire 6 months. Although the applications are a little bit outdated as compared to the other distributions but they are at their best stable releases. Let me clarify the point with an example, consider that if Ubuntu’s latest release comes with OpenOffice.org 2.0.x, it will remain at OpenOffice.org 2.0.x for the entire 6-month release cycle, even if a later version of the software gets released during this time. So in order to get the latest version of the software, you will need to wait for the new Ubuntu release, this is where Backports come in.
Backports are the official Ubuntu repositories and is maintained by the knowledgeable Ubuntu developers and these packages are properly tested. So once you will enable the Backports repositories for your Ubuntu system, you will be able to get the latest versions of the applications without upgrading your operating system. Enabling Backports is a piece-of-cake, simply go through the following steps.
Go to System > Administration > Software Sources.
Software Sources dialogue box will be launched, from here you can manage various settings regarding your system’s software repositories.
Now, click Updates tab and check the Unsupported Updates option to enable Backporting.
Thats all, once the Backports repositories are enabled and when you will install some applications via apt-get, it will install the most latest version of the particular application in your system. Enjoy!