This question made me curious, so I did some experimenting. If you're too impatient to read all this, just scroll down to conclusions My setup:
8700c on Cingular on BES
Hadheld software: 188.8.131.52
Desktop software: 184.108.40.206 (yeah, i know I should upgrade)
OS: Windows XP SP2
Email: Outlook 2003 SP2
Before starting my experiment I already knew that Russian web sites work just fine. Howerver, if I get an email in Russian it looks ok in Outlook, but is all question marks (??? ???? ??????) on the Blackberry.
Here's my experiment: Stage I
1. Create Outlook contact in Russian. Create Outlook Note in Russian.
3. During the sync process, the Blackberry Desktop Manger shows the new items as ?? ???? ???
The handheld Contact is full of ??? after sync, but the Note is in perfectly good Russian. Stage II
1. In Windows Regional Settings, set Russian as the default language for non-Unicode programs.
2. Modify Outlook Note and Contact to force resync.
4. During the sync, the Blackberry Desktop Manger displays the note displays in Russian, but the Contact looks like a buch of accented characters (éáeêçô). On the handheld, both note and contact display in Russian. Conclusion: It seems that the hanheld supports Russian. There is no need to switch modes to view contacts in both languages. In fact, each contact can have mixed languages. Any problems are caused by PC software that transfers the data. I bet Russian emails would work if the BES was properly configured. I don't have a way to type Russian characters on the handheld. This can probably be solved by a language pack or a third-party tool. Further Investigation: 1. Try upgrading to the latest version of desktop manager. 2. Check if the desktop manager has a language option during install. 3. Look for Russian language pack for the handheld. 4. See if there are Russian mobile providers who support Blackberry -Dude