There are several different formatting methods for Microsoft operating systems, and then more for Apple, Unix, Linux, etc. The reason so many are in place is that in the early days hard drive space was at a premium and drives were small. No one could imagine single files taking up 4 gig of space (remember, floppies? 360k total!, 180k on each side!). So the formatting was done in a way to minimize the amount of space needed for the file allocation table (as well as files). As time went by, drives had more room and programmers wanted to do more things in the file allocation table (longer file names and security features, for example), so changes were made to accommodate - and backwards compatibility was maintained so people could transition slowly. That 5.25 inch floppy drive can STILL be connected to your computer and it will work.
Another reason a manufacturer would format a thumb drive as FAT32 is that you may not be using it with a computer. You might be putting it in a television, or video gaming system, or smart device. These items may not be able to read/write NTFS.
Did you check to see how it had been formatted (it has to have been formatted, if not by you then by the manafacturer)? I'm pretty sure some of the ones I have came formatted FAT32 to be backwards compatible.