``[...] dominant forms which spread widely and yield the greatest number of varieties tend to people the world with allied, but modified, descendants; and these will generally succeed in displacing the groups which are their inferiors in the struggle for existence.''Charles Darwin, [2, chapter 11]
Compare the preceding quote with Allison's assessment of Open Source in a niche. Could it be that Jeremy had just read Darwin when he spoke his words? I believe that the similarity between these two quotes is not just a coincidence. In fact, I propose that Open Source Software  and Free Software  enjoy major competitive advantages over proprietary software, even though they are not (yet) the dominant forms.
This paper draws correlations between concepts of software development and of natural sciences. For example, a program shall be considered a species, the release of a program correlates with the variant of a species, and a copy of a program maps to an individual within a species. In addition, users' requirements for a piece of software define the niche of a species, and the user's CPU cycles and other machine resources correspond to the natural resources that living beings compete for. Software developers and maintainers show up as Mother Nature, the hidden forces of nature that introduce variations in species.