When you think about free software you probably think about Linux and other open source operating systems but free software isn’t limited to free operating systems.
Free software applications on Windows are on the rise, most prominent examples being Firefox and OpenOffice.org and everyone can tell they’re not the only ones. Other applications like Pidgin, VLC Player and FileZilla are getting more popular as well. Reasons for this may different and functionality is an important factor but probably not the most important for many of their users
The most important factor are word-of-mouth recommendations by friends and colleagues. Average Joe does not read tech related blogs, he does not browse the depths of SourceForge and he does not care or know about the difference of licenses and open or closed source software. Average Joe’s going to use the software that either came with his PC, or what friends or other people he knows tell him about.
People who want to spread free software may find themselves in an ethical dilemma: Is an Average Joe who’s using free software without knowing what free software actually is, just as valuable as a user who does know what it is and uses it? Is it alright to tell people to use free software, when they don’t understand what it is and there may be better closed proprietary alternatives?