To answer your question...
USB 2.0 transactions/communication is a "Software Based" transaction which partly explains why you have different transfer rates between different Operating Systems.
Also, if you are transferring hundreds of files, or even thousands of files at one time, you WILL experience a slower transfer speed than you would if you transferred one big file of the same collective size. This is because there is more communications going on between each file being transfered.
Another possible reason is the difference between your Operating Systems and the applications and services you have running while performing this test. The more background services you are running, the slower your one particular service, USB 2.0, will be slower to process.
For example, Ubuntu OS, as mention at the beginning of this thread, has a much faster transfer speed because quit possibly Ubuntu he's running isn't running all the background services that Windows 7 runs at boot-up. Ubuntu or any Linux/Unix based Operating Systems has much better performance and resource management than any of the Windows OS ever could be. Unix-based OS are generally much faster and reliable than Windows or even Apple.
So the bottom line is, check your background services and compare whats running on each OS platform. Also, 64-bit and 32-bit OS could also make a difference. And, Windows 7 is much more resource intensive than Windows XP. So even if you had the exact same resources running on Windows XP and 7, you'd still experience different transfer speeds because Windows XP is more lightweight due to less hardware requirements and resources to run than Windows 7 requires.
Hope this helps!
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