As I suspected, talking to the recruiter was more about making sure that I am in fact a US citizen than anything else, and they've started the scheduling process to get me out to Redmond for face-to-face interviews.
This should be interesting, because she indicated they were interested in me in a half technical, half leadership way. The second part doesn't worry me at all, particularly after my last gig. I find it very easy to manage people and process. Heck, it's easier than trying to manage teenage girls in a coaching sense! (I've loved my kids to death over the years, but there are all kinds of challenges you just wouldn't ever encounter in my day job profession.) The technical stuff I worry about a little, especially since the phone screens were more intense than any actual interview I've had. Generally I've read that they're more interested in your thought process than they are your ability to recite algorithms from memory, but you never know.
The funny thing is, at least this time I feel like I know what I'm getting into. The last time they flew me out there, it was completely bizarre, the position was not well defined, and there was no vetting before visiting. Granted, that was a program manager position (a title that has many overloads, to use object-oriented parlance), so this is definitely something else. The recruiter did, however, emphasize that they're looking for someone who can grow into that role, even if they need someone who can be a daily coder today. That sounds exactly like the place I'd like to be.
The group maintains the online stuff for the entire server and tools division, so they own MSDN.com, asp.net, silverlight.net, CodePlex, the blog sites, etc. That's a natural fit for me in terms of what I enjoy building in my "hobby" business. They also work in fairly small teams, which means they're a lot more agile than I suspect most groups. I'm looking forward to getting in their heads as much as they are getting in mine.
So hopefully I'll have an itinerary in the next few days. Beyond that, all I can really do is try to kick ass and hope for the best. I want this in a big way.